Exclusive Track Premiere: Botanist’s “Nourishing the Fetus (Mandragora IV)”
Back when I predicted that Botanist’s new album IV: Mandragora would fuck your face off in 2013, the one-man mystification machine that is the band’s Otrebor told us that the new album was fuzzier, less sonically spacious than his previous work. You can definitely hear what he means in “Nourishing the Fetus (Mandragora IV).” Botanist’s main axe – the hammered dulcimer – absorbs the air with repetitively chiming, wobbly harmonies, sounding more like the world’s oddest My Bloody Valentine cover band than a project rooted in black metal. The drums are suffocatingly flat, and the cymbals sound just as distorted as the dulcimer.
But while the song’s sonics are all fuzz and obfuscation, there’s an openness to “Nourishing the Fetus (Mandragora IV)” too. The clanging drops out at 2:05 to reveal just a few drum hits, a simple chord and some low-pitched muttering. Could that voice be Azalea, whispering to our man Botanist about how to raise his army of mandrakes to destroy mankind? Maybe, but the moment is still a refreshing one, almost sweet – a brief pause for a glass of Miracle-Gro on the marathon march to the obliteration of the human race by the plant kingdom.