Botanist's 'Paleobotany'AlbumExplores Environmental Destruction and Plant Voices

Botanist, a black metal project, will release a new album "Paleobotany" on May 17, 2023, via Prophecy Productions. The album explores ecological themes through a character who loses his mind over environmental destruction and finds solace in plant voices from the late Cretaceous period.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Botanist's 'Paleobotany'AlbumExplores Environmental Destruction and Plant Voices

Botanist's 'Paleobotany'AlbumExplores Environmental Destruction and Plant Voices

Botanist, the enigmatic black metal project led by San Francisco musician Otrebor, is set to release a new album titled "Paleobotany" on May 17, 2023, via Prophecy Productions. The album delves into ecological themes from the perspective of a character who loses his mind over environmental destruction and finds solace in plant voices from the late Cretaceous period, 70 million years ago.

Why this matters: The album's exploration of environmental destruction and its consequences serves as a poignant commentary on the current state of our planet, highlighting the urgent need for action to mitigate the devastating effects of human activities on the environment. By using a unique blend of music and botanical themes, Botanist's album has the potential to raise awareness and inspire change among its listeners.

The concept of "Paleobotany" centers around a scientist who witnesses the world being destroyed by mankind's negligence and loses his grip on reality. "The idea is that it's a scientist who sees the world being destroyed by mankind's negligence or meddling and loses his mind," explains Otrebor. Forest "In order to protect whatever he has left of his shattered psyche, he goes off into the forest and creates this world of plants around him. And when he's there, the plants speak to him."

The plant voices on the album come from the late Cretaceous period, a time when plants tended to grow larger than their modern-day descendants. "You can go out and see a magnolia tree and how pretty they smell. This used to exist back when these megafauna existed. It's really very inspirational and it gives the lesson that nature is eternal," says Otrebor.

Botanist's music is known for its unique sound, featuring hammered dulcimers instead of guitars. The lyrics on "Paleobotany" are inspired by botanical terminology and classical botanical art. "I am very motivated by words. It's how I largely started the concept for the band. I got engrossed in botanical nomenclature and classical botanical art, and I wanted to make a band that was all about that," explains Otrebor.

Despite the project's esoteric nature, the music on "Paleobotany" is described as "surprisingly pop," with songs averaging three to four minutes in length and featuring cleaner vocals by new collaborator Mar. Otrebor, who got into metal as a teenager, found an instinctive connection between heavy music and Romantic poetry.

Botanist started in 2009 and has released music on multiple labels with various lineups, including as a one-man band. The album's concept draws parallels between the Cretaceous extinction event and modern-day environmental destruction, serving as a commentary on the current anthropogenic devastation being wrought on the Earth. "Paleobotany" promises to be a thought-provoking and sonically unique exploration of ecological themes through the lens of black metal.