Mare Cognitum – Luminiferous Aether (Review)

Mare CognitumThis is the fourth album from this one-man US black metal band.

Over the years Mare Cognitum’s output has proven to be of exceptionally high quality, with 2014’s Phobos Monolith being a particular highlight.

Luminiferous Aether provides us with more of the progressively-edged atmospheric black metal that we’ve come to know and love from the outfit, all lavishly arranged, produced and delivered across over 50 minutes of sprawling, slow-burning dark metal.

This is music that works best on a broad canvas, with long songs that are best-used to create drawn-out soundscapes that feel like they’re being used to explore the cosmos and humanity’s place in it, if at all.

This work covers a lot of bases, from brutally fast blasting black metal to spaced-out ambient peacefulness, and most stops in between. The material here works equally well no matter what it’s actually doing, which speaks volumes about the talented ability behind the band.

Resplendent melodies and soul-searching synths/keyboards help to provide colour to an already rich palette. Used with the eye of a master painter, these colours are used to create rich tapestries of sound across the album’s running length. Everything is recorded with an ambitious production that meets the needs of the even more ambitious music.

Finally, to mention the vocals; these are mainly my favourite type for this kind of thing – high pitched, scratchy and static-esque, seeming to merge with the music more often than not. Ably performed, they’re the icy icing on the icy cake.

Luminiferous Aether shows the world once again that Mare Cognitum is seriously up there with the best of them when it comes to atmospheric/progressive black metal.

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