“Ecosystem” centers around the ecosystem of the redwoods in California and poses the question whether we as humans got our own such system defined as a system of different organisms living together. Now, do humans really live WITH the other organisms or do we just feed off of them and then “throw” them away? According to (the) Botanist, the crazy scientist from whose perspective the whole story is told, we are nothing more than parasites who endanger nature and our own existence by not taking care of the other beings around us. That drove him into the seclusion of his “Verdant Realm” (green world) where he tries to live with plants and other organisms and withdraws completely from mankind. There is something hauntingly true in those ideas, so true it hurts.
Musically, Botanist once again use black metal with an unusual instrumentation as the basis for their “Green Metal” - aforementioned dulcimer but also a harmonium plays an important role for the collective around Otrebor, the mastermind and m, drummer Daturus and bass player Davide Tiso (Ephel Duath, he also recently released a record with his wife Karyn Crisis) with Cynoxylon providing additional vocals. The collective plays a kind of black metal that is infused with a sound as if you took the short medieval parts from Funereal Presence and turned them into the foundation of the song. The dulcimer and harmonium are placed in the foreground of the arrangements – of course, because they’d go down in the whirlwind of blastbeats and high pitched screaming.
However, there is more to Botanist than just some nerdy instruments and an intelligent story/ideology – because they are able to deliver music that is as intense as its theme. You find whispered passages and shared vocals only accompanied by semi-acoustic dulcimer parts and some sparse drums, just like we have a flying passage through the courtyard of the Botanist’s black metal hell. An album that impresses on so many levels.