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Botello, Mike: Indigenous

Mike Botello hails from Brentwood, Tennessee and has been around the block a time or two having been in the music business since 1990 starting with his band Awake, originating in Texas. He began releasing solo albums in 2006 beginning with A Timeless State. His new album titled Indigenous is his fifth release to date.

This album has been a bit of a tough nut to crack for me. There is no doubting the multi-instrumentalist has talent but sometimes the twisting elements within the individual tracks lack a smooth flow, perhaps intended, but I found this a bit jarring at times. There are certainly progressive tendencies in Botello’s style of metal/heavy rock, but I cannot help thinking a more refined approach would serve him well. The first track “Chasing The Dragon” is such an example. The change ups sometimes sound little clunky but there are some good grooves and a ripping lead guitar to dig into. The lead vocals may also be an acquired taste, not terrible but just okay to these ears. Next is “I’m Down” which I like better as its melody is more refined and accessible, yet still retaining moody atmospheres and heavier guitar riffs. “Rhythmic Inception” is a short piece with only drums, followed by “The Nihilist” with its heavy power chords and moody guitar soundscapes. There is a hint of Rush has here although not as nearly as sophisticated as that band. The instrumental “Euphellum (The Demonic Deception)” is my favourite track, very moody with smoother transitions between the light and heavy sections. The musicianship, especially the guitar work is quite good. “Americaust” is a four-part suite lyrically examining the effect of nuclear war on American soil so you can well imagine this is not an upbeat endeavour. Again, the pervasive mood is dark, even a little unsettling with the guitar taking on a more angular approach.

There is a lot of music here, around sixty-five minutes worth, and the band does explore some interesting soundscapes. I think this one still needs some time to sink in as the melodies are not always obvious which may be a good thing depending on your perspective. The vocals, as well, are not an immediate hit with me. As it stands, Indigenous comes in at a solid three stars.

Track Listing:
1. Chasing The Darkness
2. I’m Down
3. Rhythmic Inception
4. The Nihilist
5. Euphellum (The Demonic Deception)
6. Americaust A. - The Realization
7. Americaust B. - Combing The Land
8. Americaust C. - Fate
9. Americaust D. - The Life Ever After
10. Heed The Warning
11. Prosody
12. Sunday Faces
13. Secret Identity
14. In The Midst Of Chaos
15. Serenity
16. Evanescent
17. The Remnant

Added: March 6th 2021
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 116
Language: english

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