One label you’re gonna have to keep an eye on is The Flenser, a San Francisco-based label specializing in avant-garde black metal. One of The Flenser’s “biggest” artists is Botanist, an unusual one-man project featuring the hammered dulcimer. The surreal concept behind The Botanist is best described as thus by the label:

The songs of Botanist are told from the perspective of The Botanist, a crazed man of science who lives in self-imposed exile, as far away from Humanity and its crimes against Nature as possible. In his sanctuary of fantasy and wonder, which he calls the Verdant Realm, he surrounds himself with plants and flowers, finding solace in the company of the Natural world, and envisioning the destruction of man. There, seated upon his throne of Veltheimia, The Botanist awaits the day when humans will either die or kill each other off, which will allow plants to make the Earth green once again.

As cool as the concept sounds, the actual music of Botanist is extremely esoteric. Gunnar seemed to love it though, and I can get behind the idea of bands pushing the boundaries of music forward in any sense. Botanist’s last album IV: Mandragora was released just this year, but that’s not stopping the new music from flowing out of the Verdant Realm.

The Flenser will be releasing a new split EP from Botanist and Bay Area black metal project Palace of Worms. The pairing seems slightly odd in that Palace of Worms, as far as I can tell, is more traditional in its one-man black metal approach, citing influences like Leviathan and Crebian. Regardless, this is gonna be one hell of a split.

The split EP will be available on November 5th on digital and vinyl formats. For more information, visit The Flenser. Check out a video from a rare Botanist live performance below and get all kinds of hype.




– JR


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