Spectral Lore/Mare Cognitum – Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine – Split (Review)

Spectral Lore Mare Cognitum - Wanderers Astrology of the Nine - SplitSpectral Lore and Mare Cognitum are both one-man black metal bands, (from Greece and the US respectively), and this is their latest collaborative split.

No stranger to teaming up with each other, these two atmospheric black metal bands have created an epic project with Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine. Just under 2 hours in total duration, this monolithic release features four tracks from each band interspersed with each other, topped by a final two tracks that are collaborative, with both artists creating music together.

A daunting release this may be, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding one. This split/collaborative release is a masterclass in atmospheric black metal, although on this album that term also includes a multitude of other elements, including doom, melodic black metal, and ambient black metal.

The music is layered with meaning and musical depth. The two bands, although different, complement each other perfectly, their different takes on atmospheric black metal fitting together like natural partners. The artists behind these acts have clearly worked closely on the album, and it flows from one song to the next with ease.

Each song is themed around one of the planets in our solar system, as well as dealing with some of the corresponding mythology surrounding that planet. As such, each individual track has its own personality, and each artist has imbued their songs with a musical character that fits each song’s theme closely.

Although you can dip into this gargantuan album, (and due to its length you’ll probably have to), it’s the type of release that really wants to be given your full attention. It’s a very immersive collection of lengthy tracks, and each one offers something of its own to hook and keep your attention. The fact that the quality levels across this work are not only set so high, but also remain there throughout, is quite the achievement.

This is definitely an album that you need to just go and listen to, rather than reading my inadequate words; this is a superlative release, one which will likely garner much well-deserved praise, so I urge you to experience it for yourself in all of its full grandeur.

Utterly essential listening.

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