ARTIST: I, THE MAPMAKER
Continuously proving that the South of the UK is putting out some of the best metal around at the moment, melodic hardcore outfit I, The Mapmaker throw their debut EP, Searching, into the mix.
Despite being relative newcomers to the scene and self-releasing the EP without a label, they’re clearly already doing well for themselves and mixing with the greats, with production from Lewis Johns (Rolo Tomassi, Employed To Serve, Palm Reader, Muncie Girls) and a guest appearance from Justine Jones (Employed To Serve) on ‘Disbelief’.
Featuring some massive sounds, their debut is certainly pretty epic. Right from the start, with opening track ‘Ghostwalker’, we’re dealing with big riffs, heavy guitars and impassioned screaming from lead singer Ashley Emery, the rest of the band providing effective backing vocals. The song has a beautiful melody line and a haunting, undulating guitar, and by the middle section, Emery is already showing that he’s more than just a hardcore scream singer, with some delicate heartfelt vocals displaying his versatility.
‘1933’ has got some of that Palm Reader attitude to it and it’s nice to hear hints of Emery’s accent in his delivery. The breaks are huge, the bass metallic, the drums gruelling, and the lead guitar enhanced with the perfect amount of echo. Follow up ‘1933 Pt 2’ takes things down a notch with pretty and melodic guitars that eventually kick with some solid screams from Emery for the remainder of the short track.
‘Disbelief’ certainly gets things moving again, and for those Employed To Serve fans, the unmistakable sound of Justine Jones’ awesome vocals kick in at around the 3.30 mark, with the two of them ending up in a killer duet, screaming along together, their voices blending well. It’s a delight to the ears of any heavy music fan and leads us easily into penultimate song ‘Capsized’, a love song with a difference, which features emotional hardcore spoken vocals alongside some beautiful melodic harmonies.
Final track ‘Searching’ is powerful, brutal and dramatic, and a perfect way to end the EP. Emotionally charged and mesmerising, the song immediately sucks you in and keeps you there, taking you on a long five and a half minute journey with a dozen ups and downs, leaving you slightly breathless by the end, and the atmospheric spoken word section adding further theatrics and depth.
With such an impressive debut, it’s easy to see why the band have already shared stages with Hundredth, Stray From the Path, Deez Nuts, Casey and Napoleon amongst others. They’re also set to play a slot at this year’s Teddy Rocks Festival and will undoubtedly have many more great opportunities to come.
WORDS: BEC SIMPSON