10. I, The Mapmaker
I, the Mapmaker have been a solid fixture of the UK South
Coast’s bustling hardcore scene for some time now, having supported such genre
heroes as Loathe, Holding Absence, Our Hollow Our Home, SikTh, Deez Nuts and
Stray from the Path. But it wasn’t until this summer that the quintet released
their first collection of studio material, the Searching EP.
A short concept piece, Searching is a six-track snapshot that begins I, the Mapmaker’s core in-song narrative. Yes, much like Coheed & Cambria and The Dear Hunter, these Bournemouth boys are planning for their every release to follow one continuing story, which – in this instance – revolves around an insane man wrestling with the deaths of his family.
However, musically, I, the Mapmaker could not be further from other conceptual metal groups: this lot fuse the dissonant aggression of Converge with the avant-garde melodies of Architects. Anthems like “Disbelief” and “Capsized” master the archetypal heavy/catchy hardcore balance, but their rejection of the standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure adds many a layer of unpredictability.
Tie all of this together with enigmatic, spoken-word interludes and the end result is a promising group that enthrals and fascinates in equal measure.