Black Map – “Trace the Path” (eOne)

Black Map, the post-hardcore supergroup made up of a trio of genre all-stars, former dredg guitarist Mark Engles, ex-dredg/The Trophy Fire singer/bassist Ben Flanagan and former †††/Far drummer Chris Robyn, are back with “Trace The Path,” a four song blast of high level atmospheric rock that’s nearly unparalleled in the game today.

Unlike their previous LP “In Droves,” “Trace the Path” features no semblance of drag of any sort, due mostly to the fact that it’s only four songs long. The powerful “Let Me Out” opens up the EP with deafening cymbal crashes and booming guitars, all built around a memorable central hook; “Invisible Worlds” immediately tempers the pace of the album with angular riffs and lofty vocals refrains; “Zero Light” might be the best song that Thrice never recording during the “Vheissu” sessions thanks to driving guitar work from Engles and Flanagan and inexorable melodies and near perfect vocals from Flanagan; and closer “Why Burn” resonates loudly through its restraint, solemnly asking “why burn?” on repeat, before a bevy of churning guitars and towering percussion join the foray to put a nice little noisy bow on “Trace the Path.”  

Despite the collective resumes of the members of Black Map, this band and their music has always been a sum greater than the whole of its parts, and “Trace the Path” is truly evident of that.  From their debut releases, the “Driver” EP and full length “…And We Explode,” to last year’s “In Droves” and now “Trace the Path,” Black Map have managed to not only showcase their ability to build upon each release, but also get noticeably better with each passing album, which is something you can’t say for many band’s dropping records these days.

Go Download: “Let Me Out”


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