Botis – Grand Abominations

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Self-released
Released: 2019
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Band line-up:

Peter Hraur -Vocals
Erik Levitsky – Guitar
Greg Bogart – Drums
Graham Noel – Bass


1. Descent
2. Rodente
3. Deluge
4. Serpentine
5. Yggdrasil
6. The Magus
7. Gullet
8. The Noble King


Botis are a quartet from Philadelphia who will be releasing their debut album ‘Grand Abominations’ on July 26th. Notably, it was completely self-produced with singer Peter Hraur (also the guitarist of progressive power metal band Lor) engineering it. It merges harsh black metal arpeggios and blast beats, thrash riffs that are sometimes influenced by classic metal and the screaming rage of mathcore all together. Don’t be put off if you don’t like the preceding styles however, as Botis produce music all metal fans will appreciate.  

It’s easy for a band to claim they have been influenced by a wide range of sources, but Botis fuse the genres just described very well. That’s pretty impressive really, when you consider the fact BM and MC aren’t particularly closely related. The band know how to mix a number of different textures, too. Sometimes the main focus is on the guitars, other times the pounding bass gets a lot of attention. The way there are so many rhythms and stops and starts on this album, yet it doesn’t sound at all disjointed is admirable. Botis aren’t a band who play flat out constantly and because of that, their sound is far more interesting. They have the songwriting skills of early RATM, just taken in a completely different direction. 

Only improving matters, the band have a great groove and are a perfect example of what can be achieved without massive reliance on computers to ‘perfect’ everything. The metal fans out there who are used to their choice of music sounding robotic and fake, will have their eyes opened by the power of human taste when they hear what the drummer can do with his often blitzing snare drum alone. Despite the many strengths of the album, it would be nice if the singer sung melodies every now and then instead of shouting, to provide that missing element. However, the creative harmony of the guitars does partly make up for that deficiency.

In conclusion, this is expertly written stuff and again as intended, it’s not hard to imagine all kinds of metal fans liking it. The thrash metal lovers out there may be disappointed to learn that flashy guitar solos are rare, but arguably the music has so much to it, leads are unnecessary. The less busy groove metal riffing in ‘Yggdrasil’ is reminiscent of White Zombie and it would be good if the band simplified things a bit more often to create more of that classic, catchier sound, but there is a lot here to love. Strongly recommended!

Review by Simon Wiedemann