BOTANIST sow next single‘Royal Protea’ 
taken from the new album “Paleobotany”

Avant-garde green metal outfit BOTANIST conclude the sowing of new singles with the track‘Royal Protea’, which is taken from the forthcoming album “Paleobotany” that will beginn to bloom in shops on May 17, 2024. Please see below for album details.

The ancestors of the flowing plant family of Protea evolved about 75–80 million years ago on the supercontinent of Gondwanaland, which covered most of the southern hemisphere. Due to the continental drift of earth’s tectonic plates, Gondwana separated into smaller parts that form today’s southern continents. In present times, Protea are mainly found in the area of South Africa. Its largest species, the self-fertilising Protea cynaroides, which is also called Giant Protea and King Sugar Bush is the country’s national plant. 

BOTANIST comment on ‘Royal Protea’: “There are practically innumerable variants of Protea, and most of them grow in South Africa, where the eponymous plant of the single originated, about 65 million years ago”, mastermind Otrebor explains. “Back at the time, the area that is now South Africa was a rain forest.”

1. Aristolochia
2. When Forests Turned to Coal 
3. Magnolia 
4. Archaeamphora 
5. The Impact that Built the Amazon 
6. Sigillaria 
7. Strychnos Electri 
8. Wollemia Nobilis 
9. Dioon 
10. Royal Protea

On their twelfth full-length “Paleobotany”, BOTANIST take us back more than 70 million years to a time when dinosaurs ruled the planet and early forests began to turn to coal. Before the age of giants ended in flames with the apocalyptic impact of the Chicxulub asteroid, some families of plants that still have descendants today also grew much larger.

“Paleobotany” comes with all the trademark characteristics that set BOTANIST apart from all other metal acts on this planet. Lyrically, the band from San Francisco, CA revolves around species of plants – in a clean break from the usual genre stereotypes like Satan, dragons, and booze. Their music clearly has its foundation anchored in ‘metal’, but instead of 6-string guitars the Americans use 110-string hammered dulcimers. To the confused horror of traditionalists, BOTANIST fit these percussion-stringed folk instruments with magnetic pickups and distort them through various perverse means that range from amplifiers via analogue tape to digital manipulation. The resulting sound is as unique as spectacular.

BOTANIST‘s continuing sonic evolution began at an audible Nordic black metal shaped point of entry. The band soon developed a more open, avant-garde style, leading towards a growing complexity. On “Paleobotany”, the Californians have shed some of the more convoluted progressive elements in favour of more song-oriented arrangements that are still rich in details and surprises, which is enhanced through the album being mixed by renowned Swedish producer Fredrik Nordström (DIMMU BORGIR, OPETH, AT THE GATES) at Studio Fredman.

That Otrebor has along the way welcomed new fellow musicians to BOTANIST is one of the factors driving these subtle changes. Vocalist Mar, who was discovered by the mastermind in one of his favourite clubs due to him looking the part of a metal musician, has shifted the focus of more catchy clean parts and even not-at-all-simulated throat singing. Percussion-animal Daturus brings hard-hitting intensity to the drums and bass player Tony Thomas contributes his signature ‘proggy’ style – both of the latter also play in DAWN OF OUROBOROS.

When composer, lyricist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Otrebor created BOTANIST in San Francisco in 2009, he already had the specific plant-based lyrical concept firmly in his mind. Its main protagonist, ‘The Botanist’, is characterised as a possibly deranged man of science that lives in self-imposed exile to stay far away from humanity’s crimes against Nature. In “The Verdant Realm”, his sanctuary of fantasy and wonder, ‘The Botanist’ surrounds himself with plant life to find solace in the company of the natural world, while he envisions the self-destruction of mankind. BOTANIST‘s lyrics are equally informed by scientific nomenclature as they are inspired by Romantic-era poetry, art, and philosophy.

BOTANIST broke into the light of the world with a massive sprout in the shape of a double-album “I: The Suicide Tree / II: A Rose from the Dead” (2011). The debut extended into a tripartite sapling with the addition of “”III: Doom in Bloom”” (2012). The project’s sprawling discography blossomed into several directions with two further solo-albums: “IV: Mandragora” (2013) and “VI: Flora” (2014).

As  BOTANIST kept switching between solo-albums and band efforts, Otrebor devised a system to tell the two strands apart: Albums bearing Roman numbers are solo-recording by Otrebor. The same applies to the EPs with an Arabic number, i.e. “EP1: The Hanging Gardens of Hell / Ode to Joy” (Split, 2013), “EP2: Hammer of Botany” (2015), and “EP3: Green Metal / Deterministic Chaos” (Split, 2016). 

When Otrebor started to run BOTANIST with an ever changing line-up both in studio and on stage, he adopted the marker “Collective” for the following albums: “Collective: The Shape of He to Come” (2017) and “Collective: Setlist 2017” (2017), with the later consisting of solo material that was re-recorded with the line-up that toured Europe in 2017.

Feeling that this system led to ‘clunky’ titles, the band version of BOTANIST released the next full-length albums under simple titles without a prefix: “Ecosystem” (2019), “Ecosystem Version B” (2020), and “Photosynthesis” (2020). “Ecosystem Version B” (2020) is an alternative version of “Ecosystem”, but with different drums, bass, mix, lyrics, titles, and with the European Tour 2017 singer on vocals.

BOTANIST are a unique band. “Paleobotany” expands their dark green sonic range of an avant-garde metal sound into a more accessible and dynamic sonic experience. When quadruped giants walked the earth, plants were already there and they will still be here when mankind has gone back to stardust. BOTANIST win their musical future by travelling millions of years into the past with “Paleobotany”!

Release date: May 17, 2024
Style: Avant-garde metal
Label: Prophecy Productions
Review impact date: APR 15, 2024

Current line-up
Otrebor – hammered dulcimer, keyboards

Additional collective line-up (recording/live)
Daturus – drums
Tony Thomas – bass
Mar – vocals

Tracked by Botanist in Verdant Realm
Mix by Fredrik Nordström at Studio Fredman, Göteborg (SE)
Dulcimer tone set by Tony Thomas at Selfinflicted Studio

Artwork by by Veronica Steiner & Brian Serway
Layout by Irrwisch Artdesign

“Paleobotany” will be available as a 60-page hardcover 2CD artbook incl. bonus tracks, and as a Gatefold black vinyl LP, and as ltd. Gatefold transparent Lupine blue vinyl LP.




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