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Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Mare Cognitum
Phobos Monolith
by Matt "Wolverine" Johnson at 02 November 2014, 4:53 PM

With what could be the soundtrack in a vision of some hopeless astronaut drifting through the bleakness of outer space surrounded by an infinite field of lifeless, floating bodies, we have "Phobos Monolith", the new album by MARE COGNITUM with November 2014 as the release date. The one-man Atmospheric/Progressive Black Metal project from Garden Grove, California has put together a killer album capable of inducing imagery of cosmic landscapes and travel through space at light speed. Though only four songs deep, there is still nearly an hour's worth of raw Black Metal cut with the emotion of torn souls descending to the gravity of a nearby star.

The song titles to me, are fairly whimsical and esoteric by the principles they invoke. Despite the non-brutal sounding names, the aggression of the music is undeniable. Over the nearly perfect double-bass drumming are guitar progressions that harken back to the early era of Black Metal, giving the overall tone a haunting, ethereal nature. Despite the atmospheric, echoing background, each song eagerly contributes its own heaviness.

I was glad to listen to this album in part because of its post-Black Metal nuances, but mainly because the instrumentation and vocals were clean, giving the feeling of major advancement in Black Metal recording since the early 90's when studios basically used potatoes to record bands in that genre. I usually try to make comparisons to other bands, but at the same time I'm writing this, I can think of no immediate bands to compare. That's bad on my part, but it proves to be good for MARE COGNITUM since the band has obviously produced its own distinct sound and brings a fresh take on "trve" American Black Metal.

This is an outstanding album because you can get the sense that a lot of thought was put into the making of it so that it didn't sound like another generic concoction, put on the market just to have something new to put on the market. Jacob Buczarski has a lot of which to be proud with his latest efforts in MARE COGNITUM.

3 Star Rating

1. Weaving the Thread of Transcendence
2. Entropic Hallucinations
3. Noumenon
4. Ephemeral Eternities
Jacob Buczarski - Instruments/Vocals
Record Label: I, Voidhanger Records


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