(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
I - The Suicide Tree/ II - A Rose From The Dead (2011), 6/10
III - Doom In Bloom (Total Rust, 2012), 6.5/10
IV - Mandragora (Flenser, 2013), 5/10
VI - Flora (Flenser, 2014), 6/10

Botanist, San Francisco's one-man black-metal band, the brainchild of Roberto Martinelli, delivered orgiastic miniatures for blast-beats, growls and hammered dulcimer on the double-disc I - The Suicide Tree/ II - A Rose From The Dead (2011) and especially the double-disc III - Doom In Bloom (Total Rust, 2012).

IV - Mandragora (Flenser, 2013) contains the five-movement suite Mandragora which veers towards some sick form of shoegazing rock with brutal vocals and distorted dulcimer.

The style of VI - Flora (Flenser, 2014) is much more conventional, with the melody playing a leading role. Opener Stargazer is emblematic of Martinelli's confusion: a bridge between black metal and pop that satifies neither. Cinnamomum Parthenoxylon does a much better job of bridging a visceral and frantic style with whispered alternative. This alternative dominates dense and dynamic songs such as Pteridophyte and Callistemon, which are relentless without being manic, peaking with the gothic atmosphere of Leucadendron Argenteum. The wedding of blastbeats and slow ecstatic melody, bordering on shoegazing, is even better realized in Erythronium.

(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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