Damn—and I thought the Botch re-release of their debut American Nervoso was heavy until Hydra Head decided it was time to lay waste to our ears again and re-release their second full length, We Are the Romans, the Deluxe Edition. And then I ask, “Why the fuck did this band breakup!” They simply blow other similar bands away!
We Are the Romans, originally released in 2000, is an absolutely slammin’ piece of vinyl. This version of hardcore metal is exactly what the genre should be considered when the term “metalcore” is ever uttered. Botch jams precision metal riffs and then slams the listener and moshpit participants into a violent maelstrom. Equaled with a tortured vocal delivery, and an air-tight rhythm section–Botch churns out a filthy brand of agro hardcore metal that sounds nearly unmatched by today’s standards.
Included in this vital re-issue is a never before released, sick sounding original demo version of We Are the Romans and four live tracks to bang and slam to. Botch, even includes a diverse drum-and-bass remix of American Nervoso’s “Thank God for Worker Bees,” as the last track on Romans.
To describe their sound without using fourteen adjectives and adverbs, think: Dillinger Escape Plan (minus the pure math metal craziness) and refer to labelmates Cattle Press, Isis, Cave-In, Pelican, and Scissorfight—blend it all up, shake it and out comes Botch as the bastard child, all pissed off and apt to severe violent spasms of energy, mangled guitar riffs, and stunning originality.
It doesn’t get much more devastating, than the de-tuned opener, “To Our Friends in the Great White North,” or the pulverizing “Saint Matthew Returns to the Womb,” and churning metal tinged fuck of a track “Frequency Ass Bandit.” And for those looking for something really different check out the Gregorian Chant-(ish) mid section sprawl on the ten-minute opus “Man the Ramparts.”
These guys are truly a step above, even though it’s rather unfortunate that this group isn’t shredding the hardcore metal world by storm anymore. At least we have these re-releases to reminisce.