Review: “Mind Atlas” by The Cartographer

It has been a metaphorical five year stretch in Broadmoor between 2016 debut EP “Human Error” from Derby Metallers The Cartographer and their sophomore release “Mind Atlas” during which the have shared stages with many of the lesser lights of heaven on the underground metal scene including Nexilva, The Dali Thundering Concept, Miscreant and even Lotus Eater. In 2018 we had the pleasure of witnessing their Technical DJent meet Deathcore offering at Tech-Fest and its a set that has lived long in the memory, which just goes to show the impact that a slot at the event can have for upcoming new bands. The quartet, who consist of vocalist Jay Roberts, guitarist Dan Gorman, bassist Tom Broadhead and drummer Josh Woodhouse recorded, mixed and mastered this new affair at Abbey Lane Studios and it sees them joined by a trio of well known guests…

…Loaded with dark atmospheres and bouncy DJent fueled riffage “Overcome” is a powerhouse mosh pit starter to get things going with eerie sinister touches that are pure menacing evil. There are also hints at the influence of bands like Volumes as they bring the weighty crush while the presence of Ash Currie of Vantablack, formerly of Sworn Amongst on the cut is the icing on the cake and fuel to the already raging fire. The cut closes with a surreal spoken word that sounds like it is from Ricky Gervais that acts as a palette cleanser and introduction to the brutal “Godless“. The addition of scattered icy synths that are very much the territory of Misstiq serve as an embellishment, while a couple of darker atmospheric breathers between the crushing riffs is a testament to just how well crafted this material is as they doesn’t break the flow but ease the relentlessness so as the main riff comes back, it hits that much harder each time. On paper, the presence of former Carcer City vocalist Patrick ‘Patch’ Pinion on “We Will Guide You” was certainly one to raise eyebrows as he seemed to be done with Metal as a whole at the end of their farewell tour that came at Tech-Fest in 2019. However his flame seems very much re-ignited here and this blistering cut sounds like it belongs on Carcer City’s seminal album “Infinite//Unknown“, such is the quality and so it is tailor made for the guest appearance. The melodic part that finishes it with clean vocals serves as a call to stay strong and stop running from your demons, something which will resonate with all those who partake in it. The third and final guest is Dave Stewart formerly of Skies in Motion and The Cartographer, who lends his throat to “15318“, a cut that also incorporates a couple of melodic ambient moments despite being rager of a track. The tempo changes are frequent and beautifully executed and the way that the heavier elements play off against those melodic parts creating light and shade is just phenomenal. Tech-Metal riffs in abundance are the stock in trade of “Hyde” which was released as a single in 2018 and despite the 3 years since its release it has not tired, instead adding a thunderous closing to the EP as a whole, while those chilling piano moments raise the hairs on the back of your neck like a creepy psychological horror film moment. To say it’s been worth the wait, well that would go down as the understatement of the year [8.5/10]

  1. Overcome (ft. Ash Currie of Vantablack, ex-Sworn Amongst)
  2. Godless
  3. We Will Guide You (ft. Patrick ‘Patch’ Pinion ex-Carcer City)
  4. 15318 (ft. Dave Stewart ex-Skies in Motion, ex-The Cartographer)
  5. Hyde

Mind Atlas” by The Cartographer is out 30th April and available for pre-order here.

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