Philadelphia, PA based metal quartet Botis has shown up to 2019 with something to say, and it shows en masse in their brand new, album Grand Abominations set to be released July 26th 2019.
Botis began as a solo project of guitarist and founder Erik Levitsky, who expanded on his concept into a full band. Levitsky tapped vocalist Peter Hraur (current guitarist for progressive power metal band Lör) and drummer Eli Litwin (Knife The Glitter, John Frum) for a demo session in 2014. Eventually, the live Botis lineup was finalized with Levitsky and Hraur locking down members of the extended Lör family in the veteran rhythm section of bassist Graham Noel and drummer Greg Bogart.
The band’s ambitious debut successfully draws from the wells of black metal, thrash, and mathcore while still leaving metal fans of all sonic preference satisfied. In true DIY fashion, Grand Abominations is a completely self-produced effort with vocalist Peter Hraur taking on the engineering duties.
Clearly looking to make one hell of an impact, the opening track of Botis’ debut album is startling. On the one hand, it has the kind of riffing that exemplifies the more technical side of death metal. However, on the other hand it is filled with ferocious vocals and an echoing drum beat that reverberates through the body.
Then out of nowhere, it stops for a little bit of guitar melody, bass rumbling and builds back up with the drums into a head-banger of a finish. A short but exhausting opener and Botis are only just getting started.
The off-kilter guitars of Rodente accompanied by a spitfire vocal performance keeps things expertly balanced on a knife of chaos. Deluge washes over with seemingly impossible levels of vitriol and Serpentine takes the guitars down to dirty and horrid sounding places.
Halfway done and Botis are leaving that impression. A deep, dark and bruised impression that is ugly to look at and painful to touch.
They’re far from done with making it worse though. The hellish riffs and roars at the start of Yggdrasil signalling a track of savagery. One that goes up and down, lulling you into a false sense of security before attempting to twist your skull off. There is little relief to come from Magus either as it claws away with varying tempos that unsettle.
Both those pale in comparison to the near 9 minute epic that is Gullet though. Pouring their all into an absolute beast that sees the listener as a plaything. Teasing attacks, knocking you down only to back off before resuming the chase. The complexities of the guitars, the lack of drum rhythm and the utterly brutalising vocals should be unlistenable but it’s so very compelling.
Exhausting. An album that is exhausting to listen too so it’s with relief that The Noble King is the final track. No major surprises here, just a solid metal closer to an album that will impress those who enjoy their metal chaotic.
Botis – Grand Abominations Full Track Listing:
6. The Magus
8. The Noble King
Botis - Grand Abominations (Self Released)
The Final Score - 8/10