Wednesday 21 June 2023

The Cartographer - The Cold Black EP

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: Digital

Release Date: 30 Jun 2023


1. Deathbed

2. Misery System

3. Fiend

4. Red Tape

5. Vices

30th of June 2023 sees the release of the brand new EP The Cold Black from Derby, UK deathcore act The Cartographer. The band formed in 2013 and The Cold Black is their third EP, following both 2016's Human Error and 2021's Mind Atlas. Being on the more tech/progressive side of deathcore, they've played on bills alongside Martyr Defiled, Uneven Structure and Ingested amongst others. The EP release is due to coincide with their appearance at this year's UK Tech-Fest, where they'll hit the main stage on the 30th alongside Conjurer, Hacktivist, Loathe and more. 

Been really in the mood for some home grown musical talent since my last post about a-tota-so. I have Polymath PR to thank for this evening’s listen, in the form of Derby deathcore/tech-metallers The Cartographer and their brand new EP The Cold Black. The EP’s artwork struck me right away with it’s rusty/autumnal vibes. Opener ‘Deathbed’ contains plenty of atmosphere, on-point musicianship and vocals that embody everything that’s good about UK deathcore. The sub-genre’s been maligned in recent times but with  bands like The Cartographer, it sounds like it’s golden years are swinging back around.

Misery System features Tristan Hill of fellow UK deathcore band Azazel and it slays! There’s no other way to describe it really. Uptempo yet brooding with plenty of vocal hooks, semi-clean singing and melodic leads added for good measure. All kept in check by hefty bass and up-front percussion. The EP’s most technical song so far is ‘Fiend’, which ironically also it’s shortest. Rhythmic guitar work goes toe to toe with off-kilter drumming, showing exactly why these guys are playing this year’s addition of UK Tech-Fest. There’s no sense of The Cartographer merely copying bands that have gone before either. They take things in their stride and sound all the better for it.

‘Red Tape’ starts with some hectic drum ’n’ bass that brings to mind some of the early UK djent protagonists. It adds a lot to the music without overrunning it, while the band does what they do best. The semi-clean vocals are a great addition once again, showing that their influences aren’t just rooted in the brutal realm. EP closer ‘Vices’ makes great use of The Cartographer’s lovely bass guitar tone as part of it’s intro. It’s followed by a song that’s as atmospheric as the opener was. Not overly complicated tempo-wise, it’s strangely catchy with the addition of choral singing in the background and a stomping beat that’s more death metal than core. 

This is a great sounding EP. I’ve been somewhat on the fence about modern djent/deathcore bands in recent years, but I’ve also been quick to admit that my listening habits are akin to ADHD at the moment. The Cartographer are a real breath of fresh air sonically. Exactly what’s needed when society and white noise overwhelm. Hopefully a physical release will see the light of day at some point too.

The Cold Black EP will be available on all platforms on 30th June (pre saves are available too). Links can be found via the Linktree here -

You can grab EP related merch, including long-sleeves, t-shirts and caps here -

The Cartographer -

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