How many Scots do you need to make a progressive black metal EP? Just one. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Ged Cartwright is A Cunning Man unleashes his love for the occult and Gothic math rock mayhem on his Practical Applications Of Theurgy EP. He cuts to the chase, spitting out his lyrics in the proud accent that will scare the shit out of the folks living south of Hadrian's Wall.
He is a sonic sculptor, creating towering walls of sound, with subtler noises hanging on for dear life. Only Gemma McCabe's additional vocals - plus her spoken word segment in Juratus & The Sulfur Psalm - offer a bit of relief. Cartwright's dark baritone is the dominant force throughout this 15 minutes of homemade horror. He goes for the gut and the throat, leaving the listener exhausted and intrigued. Demon, druid? Maybe both, but first of all he is a one-man army using his music as assault weapons.