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Album Review: The Republic of Wolves - The Cartographer

From the start you have to give credit to the band for following up their superb 'Varuna' with a fresh batch of songs. Despite being released so soon after the latter, 'The Cartographer' isn't a collection of b-sides/out takes or a continuation, if anything it shows a band slightly experimenting and searching for their definite sound.

Whilst 'The Cartographer' doesn't quite have the same urgency of 'Varuna', it still has its highlights. 'Home' is a subtly folk alt-rock number which shows the bands lighter side, with twangy guitars mixed in well with Gregg Andrew. Whilst the alluring 'Calm Down' is a dreamy, soft track that manages to stir up an intimate connection with the listener and leaves you hooked on Gregg Andrew's every last word.

'Widow's Walk' sees the band bringing back the powerful, soaring choruses that made 'Varuna' so compelling but at the same time sees the band showing a subtly experimental twist, that adds variation to their sound. Whereas 'India' comes off in a similar fashion, as the bands more aggressive side is shown. The penultimate track 'Mirage' is a twangy folk that leads to a concise singalong, that brings a light, fresh approach to the bands sound.

The nine-minute long 'The Dead Men Stood Together' closes the EP and manages to roll the bands sound and direction into one; kicking off with driving guitars and fast drums before settling into a mix of well-crafted melodies and a ballad-like rhythm, which is comforting and pulled off well.

Whilst for fans of the band, 'The Cartographer' is welcomed addition so soon after 'Varuna' but I feel that it doesn't have the same instant impact of the latter. Nevertheless the bands challenging approach and direction are welcomed and equally doesn't alienate those who favoured the full-length. As a band they have built on their techniques and song-writing abilities, which gives them plenty of potential and leaves fans of the band interested.


'The Cartographer' by The Republic of Wolves is available now through Bandcamp.

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Sean Reid

Alter The Press!