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Mare Cognitum have started to hint at greatness with this latest offering.


Album Review: MARE COGNITUM Luminiferous Aether

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Man, I love black metal like… so much you guys. In today's world where seemingly anything can be black metal it's sometimes a little hard to have that same love for the genre. Many bands just take the modern tropes and run with them, sparing little to no thought as to where this whole thing comes from or where it's going. That's why I'm grateful to have Luminiferous Aether in my life, it's a black metal record that satisfies the modern polemic but also has the same transcendent beauty that made bands like Emperor so great. Mare Cognitum are masters of their craft, and though yes at times things feel a bit contrived, their overall execution is spot on and a pleasure to pick apart. Luminifierous Aether shines a light on what the future of black metal can be and makes me curious to see how this band is planning on evolving over the years. The chops are clearly there and the songwriting has a lot of potential behind it: Mare Cognitum could go far.

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What strikes me time and time again about Luminiferous Aether is the quality of the melodic content. Every song on this record has some remarkably solid lines going on and suggests to me that this band could go on to be so much more. Beyond that, Mare Cognitum have some wonderful guitar solos, at times even reminiscent of the classical guitar mastery of Spectral Lore (which in some ways makes sense since they share a label!) It's rare these days to find a guitar-focused black metal band, or at least one focused on the flashier side of the instrument and I love it. Luminiferous Aether makes me want to keep coming back to a band who get that rock and roll is a fundamental part of black metal but who also embrace the more meditative side of things. In fact – the sense of meditation is probably the more significant aspect and makes me curious to see what more the group will be able to invoke with their next batch of releases.

Mare Cognitum have what it takes to be almost revolutionary in the doom metal scene. They embrace the wonderful blackness of this kind of music and put a lot of themselves into their work. It makes me fall in love time and time again, every listen opening up strange new vistas and suggesting that their are exciting other sides to the band that need to be picked apart. At this point I'm intrigued to see where they will take it. Ultimately they haven't quite gotten their songwriting where it needs to be, but even as is, this band is amazing and clearly has the chops to be among the greats. I, Voidhanger Records, one of the greatest in modern black metal, have done good in picking these dudes up. The arrangements are on point and most of the time things flow smoothly; in fact it's the degree of perfection of most of the record that makes the few flaws especially jarring. Yet with the right producer and a few more years, Mare Cognitum could be the new black metal kings.

Score: 8/10

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