Our New Band of the Week feature has been away for a little while, so to mark its return with a bang it’s time for something awesomely heavy in the form of Derby quintet The Cartographer.
The band fuses huge riffs, djent, screamed vocals and wild driving drums to form their brutal metal sound, which they describe to us as being “aggressive, bouncy and powerful.” Perfect.
The Derby band’s project was very nearly no more in early 2015, when a couple of original members left leaving only vocalist Jay Roberts and guitarists James Millington and Dan Gorman and they decided to call it a day for a year or so. Thankfully, after debate over what to do next, they kicked off again last year with new drummer Ash on board to record and EP, began playing shows, and soon enough found Tom Maver Broadhead to fill the vacant bassist position.
The Cartographer released debut EP Human Error earlier this year, which is a brutal demonstration of their intense metal sound. We had a chat with vocalist Jay, and first up asked him to describe that sound.
Jay said: ” The best way to explain our sound to people who haven’t heard us before would be aggressive metal with hints of djent topped with melodic choruses, especially when explaining new material but we will keep that on the down low for now. “
Human Error kicks off with suspense-filled distant drum rolls that drop into a face-melting blast of intense, low-tuned guitars and drums in the intro to Vultures. That then rolls into a verse of big screamed vocals with , and moody synth noises in the background giving it an overall feeling of doom. Big guitar chords return with more intense screams, then high-pitched guitars contrasted by a probing lower guitar riff supporting drawn-out vocals through the chorus. High-pitched guitars return alongside a call of “You cannot kill what refuses to die” followed by a big burst of guitars to bring an impressive opening track to an end.
That’s followed by a huge blast of guitars and then fast-paced screamed vocals as the huge Kneel To Nothing races into life. Wild vocals continue and are followed by some awesome guitar riffs and haunting high-pitched guitars, then the track drops right down for a moment only to burst back into more low-tuned guitar chords and big screamed vocals.
The heaviness doesn’t back down in next track Behemoth, which opens with a creepy synth noise and lingering repeated guitar notes, which are soon met by big blasts of low-tuned guitar, followed by a big drum roll that is cue for a huge smash of guitars, with the repeated notes remaining. A funky verse of screamed vocals with wild drums and intriguing guitar delivery lures you in and descends into madness with fast-paced riffs, smashes of low-tuned chords and driving drums. More cool riffs follow in support of big vocals, with the track closing on a big scream and fading out light guitar notes.
Human Error is chocked full of huge riffs and awesome fast-paced metal brilliance that you can’t help but bang your head along to. Case in point is final track The Grey, which opens up with ascending high-pitched guitar then dives into low-tuned guitar chords that soon give way to screamed vocals through a fast-paced opening verse. The pace lowers for a moment and there’s a cry of “We are the counterparts, we are the instinct, we are superior design” then a lone blitz of really cool high-pitched guitars that are soon joined by heavy guitars and fast-paced vocals. The vocals get heavier than ever with some booming guitar chords to bring the EP to a close. Check it out in the video below:
It’s easy to imagine The Cartographer are quite the sight in live shows, and Jay tells us: “Our current live shows consist of lots of smoke, insane amounts of head banging and hair… the last two go together perfectly!”
The band’s biggest musical influence is After The Burial, who they all look to as a goal of what they’d like to achieve, while taking inspiration from the likes of Heart Of A Coward, Born Of Osiris and Northlane.
Jay tells us: “All of us have always had the imagine of being involved in music and being in bands. From being a lot younger in earlier bands we loved playing in front of people! I think now more than ever though we love it, the rush of being on stage and playing your music to people who are there and are willing to listen to what you created is just special and its something that I don’t think any of us will get over. It’s just everything to us and we hope to never have to give up and just push constantly to where we want to be in life with it.”
And in terms of what inspires their writing Jay continues: “The idea of our music eventually being able to help people and get them through any given situation is a big influence with our music. Key themes and topics are generally based on real life situations that are happening at that moment in time, and whether it be a good or bad situation we like to write our music to fit accordingly.
“For example, Vultures was written when we got back together after a long break and is basically about how there’s always going to be people pulling you down or will try to have a negative impact on what you love to do. In our eyes as a band we feel nothing will stop us from doing what we love and the line in the song ‘You cannot kill what refuses to die’ reflects just that!”
The Cartographer are currently writing their full length album, and are roughly about seven songs into what they hope will be a ten track album. You can also see them on the road very soon, as they’ll be out supporting Loathe this month.