Black Map is one of the bands that as soon as I heard, I instantly fell in love with. Armed with the riffs, pummeling rhythms, and right amount of melody, Black Map have cemented themselves amongst the rock world. As a three piece the magnitude of volume emitted from Ben Flanagan (vocals/bass), Mark Engles (guitar), and Chris Robyn (drums) is astounding. Their new album Melodoria is a catchy, inquisitive and etherial driven album.
From the moment the first song “Chasms” kicks things off with that riff, you the listener are truly in for an experience. Black Map didn’t put together a collection of songs, they made an album that demands you listen and soak it all in. Across the ten songs on the album, there are many different vibes that shape the record and take you on a journey. One of the best things about Black Map is the velvetly delicate vocals of Ben Flanagan. Not only can you hear what he’s singing but with each line and verse and listen you get more and more engrossed in the subject matter and the thunderous bass tone that packs one hell of a punch. Mark Engles guitar work on this album is on par with his brightest moments in Dredg. There will always be a tinge of Dredg in this band but, the way it’s used brings in a different element that adds a level of atmosphere and space to the hard driving riffs. And who can forget the absolutely devastating drums provided by the one and only Chris Robyn. The combination of all three of these gentleman has made for one hell of a band and 3 albums of pure and honest rock music.
A band like Black Map is a breath of fresh air in a musical climate where programmed drums and taking the easy way out has become acceptable. Black Map was founded on the premise of being a heavy rock band with melody and they really have delivered the goods on Melodoria. They’ve achieved and found their sound on this album. Taking the best of what the first two albums offered, mix that with the maturity and development and you really have a recipe for a damn good album. I really recommend putting this album while on a drive and letting it take you over. It’s one of those albums that will grow on your in different ways. It hits you in all the right ways depending on where you are at in that moment. Black Map deserves to be played on every stereo and loud. Go see them live when you get a chance, they will rock you for damn sure!
Recommended Tracks: Chasms, Super Deluxe, Madness, Witching Hour, Melodoria
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Black Map- Melodoria: