‘Cunning Man’ is metal, though not as we know it. A one-man band, hailing from Scotland, ‘Cunning Man’ mixes up a number of different sub-genres of metal to produce something that although won’t be for everybody, certainly kept me engaged through the three tracks on offer with this EP. Of the three songs, ‘Honorius & The Ambergris Forecast’ was my least favourite. The blast-beat drums and black metal guitars were a bit too much though the melodic bridge and chorus were good. Track two, ‘Cyprian & The Ambergris Geist’ was much better. I liked the slow piano-led intro and the track builds nicely, feeling much more focused than the first one, having a clearer sense of direction. Track three is ‘Juratus & The Sulfur Psalm’, and again it’s quite different from the previous two with a nice bass-led intro. The start almost has a poppy sort of feel to it before building into a melodic chorus. The spoken word segment is interesting and works quite well. Perhaps more inclusion of female vocals could make the sound of ‘Cunning Man’ even more unique?
There is a lot going on with this EP from ‘Cunning Man’. The clean vocals are good. Cartwright can certainly sing and it is good to hear him not hiding behind his accent. It gives the EP a little bit of personality. There are certain musical influences that came through. From Dream Theatre and Evergrey to other progressive metal bands like Tesseract, ‘Cunning Man’ has a similar sound yet the vocals and lyrical subject matter help to keep it from being a carbon copy. The sound is epic, tight sounding and focussed, particularly on the second and third tracks. If ‘Cunning Man’ continues in this direction, then I’d be interested in hearing more. I really like the cover art for the EP too. I love to read dark fantasy and horror so this is right up my street.
A Cunning Man is a one man Metal project created by vocalist and composer Ged Cartwright, based in Scotland.
A variety of styles have been drawn upon to create a modern and exciting interpretation of Metal. Genres such as Black Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal, Progressive Rock, Modern Classical and Ambient are fused with an experience shaped by Scottish life.
The Emphasis is on memorable hooks and huge atmospheres. The vocals, harmonies and occult themed lyrics are at the forefront of importance here.
Some of A Cunning Man’s biggest influences are Katatonia, Evergrey, Shade Empire and Eternal Tears of Sorrow.
Practical Application Of Theurgy is A Cunning Man’s debut EP and was entirely self funded, recorded and produced. The EP was released independently on 01/01/2017 via Bandcamp.
A Cunning Man – Practical Applications Of Theurgy
1. Honorius & The Choral Forecast (4:02) 2. Cyprian & The Ambergris Geist (4:48) 3. Juratus & The Sulfur Psalm (5:58)
All songs written by and © of A Cunning Man 2017
Ged Cartwright – Vocals, instrumentation and programming Gemma McCabe – Additional vocals and spoken word
Recorded, produced and mixed by Ged Cartwright Mastered by Jonny Renshaw at Bandit Studios
Cover art by Gordon Crawford
A Cunning Man logo by Luciferium War Graphics Promotional material by Stuart Campbell