Collective: The Shape of He to Come

by Botanist

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    Gatefold digisleeve CD featuring art (on inner gatefold) not present on the LP version. Released by Avantgarde Music. Slightly different track order on CD than LP.

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    6-track, full-length vinyl album. Cover art is printed on two surfaces: the red on the inner, cardboard sleeve, and the green on the outer, plastic sleeve, for a multi-dimensional effect. Clear vinyl limited to 250 pieces that will be pressed only once. Further pressings will be on black vinyl.

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1.
Praise thee, Azalea Unquenchable conqueror Reclaimer of verdant rule God of upheaval The upheaval of Nature over all Hail thee, Azalea Great adversary Opposing the path of doom Countering the human folly The folly of self-destruction I exalt thee, Azalea Procreator of the messiah He who shall mark the floral apocalypse The guiding light to glory The eternal glory of the Verdant Realm
2.
It runs across the soil And through the branches of the trees O'er the canopies upon the hills And into the depths of the sea It can be seen in the paths of birds And in the rising of the waters The shape of he to come It can be felt in the air And heard in the growing silence A murmur of he who is to come The messiah of the end Figurehead of the apocalypse And herald of the Budding Dawn Out of a race doomed Nature chooses its hero Flesh and flora unite A champion from the damned For he is the avatar The last remnant of man The final vestige of a race turned to dust Flora grows from flesh As humanity falls away Symbolic of armageddon's rise The shape of he to come The shape of he to come
3.
Glory be to Flora, the divine Embodiment of the unseen That which makes what is That which balances all All that represents The truest knowable god Hail thee True one Modern Man the oppressor He who tests the balance He who pushes it to break apart He who shall be wiped away Nature and Man reconciled As the latter falls to dust Balance restored by forces primordial Fathomless to mortal comprehension Herald the coming of the Verdant Messiah The false, the self-made gods will fall Into an abyss of their creation The time of surfeit is coming An upheaval of wrath approaches When the land ceases to be pillaged The earth misused and perverted Resources devoured without sense Only then shall Nature and Man be reconciled Perhaps in death, perhaps in life Perhaps as a font for a flower to grow Man will be instrumental in what is to come When flora reconquers the earth Can the oppressors change their view And exalt something bigger than themselves Can the tide be turned before nature exacts revenge Will Mankind consume itself into oblivion Trampling what keeps it alive Spitting on its gift What has been granted shall be taken away As the Earth marshals its forces Only when Humanity’s blight is at an end Shall the Deer lie down beside Man And the verdant again can grow Only when Humanity can see its place Its true role in the grand scheme Can armageddon be averted
4.
5.
Here, upon my living throne of Veltheimia My cathedra of emerald and red I await the time of the great passing (Into which the world shall be led) The end of the era of the slow death Into an infinite time of glory Closing the age of waste The earth draws new breath Surrounded by my future kin, I wait My floral brethren sole companions And the fauna with which they live Symbiotically they thrive Guided by voices am I The words of master Azalea Directing my purpose For the glory of the Budding Dawn I am promised a place amongst them An equal in the continuum of chlorophyll Conscious yet drifting All of one mind Each with his own role Each with his perfect place Existing blissfully In an endless cycle of reincarnation Reborn forever as one of the Verdant Realm Drifting glacially in Nature’s utopia I am to be granted a place in the vegetal horde In a perfect balance Living, dying, and falling to the earth To rise anew War and hate curse them all Death by their own hands Nature revolts Tides shall rise All shall be wiped away Watch them die from my throne Alone I sit as their world ends The suffering shall end When the oppressors come to pass I shall watch them crawl to their doom From my haven of green Where fauna is my kin From my cathedra of emerald and red Surrounded by floral brethren Upon Veltheim’s throne Shall I wait
6.
I am meant to outlast them all The tyrants of the slow death I shall be the last trace Of their doomed race For my labor I am to join them, rewarded Within the continuum, eternal To become one of the myriad, immortal To join consciousness in endless bliss

about

“The Shape of He to Come” is the first of the “Collective” series, which means that it diverges from the model of Botanist studio albums as the result of me, Otrebor, doing everything, and instead recording more like a full band with distributed responsibilities. “The Shape” stands as a testimonial to the work, time, and effort that six of us put into rehearsing, touring, and composing from the years 2013-2016.

The origins of “The Shape of He to Come” came from my desire to give all the members of Botanist live the opportunity to contribute to a studio record; to give them a greater feeling of inclusion in Botanist -- and also to see what they were capable of and what my options would be for further inclusion in numbered Botanist albums.

The resulting album turned out wonderfully. I took some pre-existing drum tracks that I recorded in 2010 and gave them to D. Neal and R. Chiang with instructions to do what they wanted. Initially, the album was meant to be a 3-song EP, with the three songs being divided amongst Neal and Chiang as to who would take the “lead” and who would write complementary parts.

That proved to be trickier than I had thought. A combination of Neal’s exuberance and the challenge Chiang found himself in writing music to drum tracks led to Neal writing and recording all the dulcimer parts for the three longest songs (“The Shape of He to Come,” “The Reconciliation of Nature and Man,” and “Upon Veltheim’s Throne Shall I Wait”), and Chiang writing and recording two of the segues that were unrestricted by drum arrangements (“To Join the Continuum,” “And the Earth Throws off Its Oppressors”). Neal also wrote the bass guitar parts (with the exception of the parts on “Hail Azalea,” which were written by Bezaelith), with all bass guitar expertly performed by Balan on the album.

D. Neal and R. Chiang both recorded their outstanding composition that would be much later named “Praise Azalea, the Adversary.” This piece was performed as an intro to most of our live shows, but without vocals, which were added for this album.

I composed and recorded the keyboards, which were added after the main compositions were done.

All lyrics and song titles were written by me, with the intention to deviate the content of the album from the more standard Botanist fare of romance-meets-science, and into something more overtly philosophical and spiritual... even theological. I wrote the vocal parts for the three long songs.

Since all six members that were part of Botanist live from 2013-2015 had to be included, and the bass guitar had already been accounted for by the (then) current bassist, Bezaelith was asked to contribute her amazing melodic vocals to the songs. (Bezaelith wrote the vocal parts to the segues.) I saw this as a perfect opportunity to test the waters with my own melodic vocal abilities, and to see how well they would turn out in the interest of developing them further down the solo album line. Thanks to Bezaelith’s inspiration and support, my confidence, ease, and ability to sing melodically grew exponentially with this record. The result marks a major divergence in the Botanist canon.

Last but not least, the presence and vocal contribution of A. Lindo (aka “Golem”) was mandatory. Lindo is the voice of all the harsh parts on the album (with one minor line in one song that is doubled by Otrebor, who also does the spoken parts at the end of “Reconciliation”). He wrote the vocal parts to “Praise Azalea, the Adversary,” to which he also composed and performed the harmonium parts. Like his remarkable stage performances, Lindo’s intense, fearsome, and sometimes eerily weird vocals punctuate the sections with lovely melodics in a way that I love. I hope you do, too.

-- Otrebor

credits

released September 1, 2017

“The Shape of He to Come” was recorded in various home studios in Northern and Southern California from the years 2010-2016, and mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley @ The Atomic Garden, East Palo Alto, CA, in December, 2016.

Artistic concept and work, and layout done by Irrwisch Artdesign.

Special thanks to Zaragil for inspiration on the song arrangements.

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Botanist San Francisco, California

Post-black metal worship of the Natural world. Enter the Verdant Realm.

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