Unsurprisingly for multi-instrumentalist Otrebor, groundskeeper of the black metal avant-apocalypse that is Botanist, his two-piece project Lotus Thief has lofty aspirations.
Whilst the music is inherently progressive on this second album, it’s within the lyrics that the album distinguishes itself, its subject matter concerning issues of human belief systems, and taking inspiration from Homer’s Odyssey to Aleister Crowley. More accessible than Botanist, Gramarye is a cosmic vibration unto itself: spacious, electronica-tinged prog rock with a reverent tone appropriate to the subject matter.
The success can be largely attributed to singer/songwriter Bezaelith, her voice containing the power and fear-inducing might of a priestess from the outset of the riff-heavy Book Of The Dead, which can’t help but break into black metal clatter by its close. By contrast, the nine-minute Circe is the sound of the heavens taking deep breaths, the gateway to a record full of gradually unfolding mystery, spellbinding with a clarity that allows for each note to be savoured, growing in profundity with successive listens.