Hailing from what is fast becoming the new metal hotbed of the UK, Southampton, come post-hardcore quintet I, The Mapmaker with their self-released E.P. Searching. Seeing that this was produced by Lewis Johns (Employed To Serve, Rolo Tomassi etc) I was already intrigued as to what the band would have to offer and knew that wasn’t going to be a generic by numbers band.
‘Ghostwalker’ opens proceedings and brings together the different facets perfectly. There are familiar, driving, Hardcore riffs and the frenzied harsh vocals, but more than that, there is a constant ambience surrounding the music. At times this aspect brought forward memories of post-hardcore legends Far and even Funeral For A Friend. I think it’s the way that the melodies, in particular, are delivered and implanted that impressed me so much.
That blend of riffs and hooks is where the real talent of this band lies, and none more so than on ‘Disbelief’ which has all of these things in abundance and, to top it all off, in comes Justine Jones from Employed To Serve to truly set your ears on fire. This combination is unreal to listen to and had me reaching for the repeat button.
Closing track ‘Searching’ kicks off with an angular approach, not unlike Employed To Serve, but ITM again seamlessly blend this into more of the straight forward hardcore sound off the earlier tracks. We then get more quality riffage, a spoken word break and an absolutely sublime build to a sterling ending to the song. There is a real sense of care and craft to the band’s songwriting.
This is a very strong debut EP and showcases a band who, even in their infancy, are creating something potentially very special down on the south coast. If they can continue to develop on, and utilise the talents they clearly have, add in a few months on the road, and their first album is going
to be one to watch out for.