Rock act BLACK MAP have debuted an all new music video for their track “Ruin,” today from their all new LP released earlier this year. “The lyrics are from the perspective of someone who thinks they see the world collapsing around them,” says vocalist/bassist Benjamin Flanagan, “and wondering the whole time what the true nature of their reality is.”
The video was directed by Frank Door and the second video we’ve seen from the power trio’s new LP In Droves.
Flanagan continues, “When we shot the video it was important to have something with tension and unnerving to match the subject matter of the song. We shot the footage all in one long day at Mt. Davidson in San Francisco. The actor is a 6 year old kid Frank found who got to run around the woods wielding an axe in a giant custom crow mask. This video will probably mark the only time in our career you will ever see anyone in Black Map wearing make up.”
Black Map released In Droves back in March via Entertainment One (eOne). The band has been steadily touring all summer on headliner dates, festival dates and support dates on the Chevelle tour. Black Map recently performed a highlighted set at Chicago Open Air earlier this month, and will perform at Rock Allegiance, Louder Than Life, Houston Open Air and Aftershock festivals scheduled for later this year.
Black Map creates music driven by the pulse of their early genesis as a trio who packed itself into a rehearsal room with pure intentions, a 12-pack and a boundary-smashing lack of prohibitions or rules. Their commitment is to each other, to what feels right; to meditation on big riffs that lurch and churn, dripping with atmosphere, powering bold and evocative statements.
The band is the union of three established Northern California rock musicians, driven by a shared dedication to big riffs, big drums and powerful, straight-ahead, all enveloping rock n’ roll. Black Map consists of the versatile voice and walloping bass groove of Ben Flanagan (Trophy Fire), the wall-of-sound big riff histrionics of guitarist Mark Engles (dredg) and the unstoppable driving force and tasteful skill of drummer Chris Robyn (Far).
A few songs became a few shows and an EP which begat a debut album, …And We Explode (2014), which featured the buzzy single, “I’m Just the Driver.” The metaphorical “black map” of the band’s steadily building catalog and dedicated following led them to secure live performance spots alongside the mighty Chevelle, multi platinum rockers Bush, Circa Survive, and Highly Suspect in addition to multiple club shows as a headlining act.
Songs like “Run Rabbit Run,” “Foxglove,” “No Color,” and “White Fence” are united in a lyrical exhortation toward staunch individuality in the face of soul-crushing conformity. These are songs that challenge listeners to focus on what makes them unique as people, to shake off the gloomy dystopian results of mass groupthink, to actualize and harness one’s own humanity.
As they continue forward, ever united in that original pureness of intentionality, Black Map covers bigger ground. Bursts of ambience and mellow contemplation compliment the broadly shaped melodic noise. Unafraid experimentation gives way to a strong dichotomy, to new elements, all within that original structure of Black Map’s monster riffing.
Sonic treasure hunters who study Black Map will find themselves transported to the spirit of the early 90s rock resurgence, when bands jettisoned the superficial fluff of the previous decade without wandering too far into dense pretension and delivered authentic and heavy music. Black Map combine flourishes of beauty alongside the bombast and a modern sensibility that nevertheless will not sacrifice its raw realness.