Photo courtesy of the artist
Mare Cognitum has painstakingly built a solid reputation by quietly releasing album after gorgeous album's worth of high quality atmospheric black metal. The market is saturated with bands who cop influences from Slint as well as Satyricon; we could blame Deafheaven, or Wolves in the Throne Room (or if we're feeling trollish, Weakling) but no matter its origin, the current North American black metal scene is as awash in pretty, melodic atmospheric bands as it is wargoats and clumsy occultists.
Mare Cognitum has always stood a head and shoulders above the scrum, though, by sheer virtue of how goddamn good they are—or, rather, how good he is, as the entire project is the work of one Jacob Buczarski. His latest effort, Luminiferous Aether, offers more of what we've come to expect: the cinematic feel, the bare bones vocal rasps, the lush melodies, the nimble riffs, the underlying wildness that recalls Drudkh's finer moments (particularly on the epic "Constellation Hipparchia"). It's a magificent album, and undeniably one of the year's best.
Luminiferous Aether is out September 16 via I, Voidhanger, and preorders are live now. Drift away into the aether below.
Kim Kelly loves this goddamn record; she's on Twitter.