Saturday 10 September 2016

Mare Cognitum - Luminiferous Aether


1. Heliacal Rising
2. The First Point Of Aries
3. Constellation Hipparchia
4. Occultated Temporal Dimensions
5. Aether Wind

Black metal's close relationship with cosmic subject matter and anti-human sentiment has been widely written about over the years. It bares less resemblance to the satanic school and the bands that focus on it are more content with isolation and personal freedom. That is definitely the case with solo US band Mare Cognitum. Luminiferous Aether is Mare Cognitum's fourth full-length in five years and it sees the light of day via I, Voidhanger Records on September 16. Over the next few week I'll be on a voyage to discover all manner of weird and wonderful extremities but for now, I'll try my best to  adequately write about this record. 

Chilling wind-like noise and majestic swathes of guitar melody introduces Luminiferous Aether perfectly. Opener Heliacal Rising is dominated more by it’s instrumentation that it’s vocals, which are enveloped by layers of percussion and guitars. Mare Cognitum favours progression and control, not willing to compromise on quality by ignoring the tried and the tested. It’s a noble vision brought to life in aural and physical form. After what might seem like a restrained opener, The First Point Of Aries is a lot heavier with plenty of blasts and driving guitars. It’s a bit of a wake up and it does take time to tune into it’s many subtleties and layers. I’ve not heard a solo band like this with such engaging and warm lead work before. The band’s orchestral brilliance returns on Constellation Hipparchia, which really does conjure up images of the black vastness of our universe beyond the stars. A mixture of that melodic orchestration and the ravaging percussion paints a very stark image. If you’ve listened to Mare Cognitum’s music before, you’ll know that the songs are never short players. The longer song lengths allow the music to breathe. Ambient soundscapes are prevalent throughout the record as well. Occultated Temporal Dimensions certainly has an otherworldly feel to it as the riffs kick in. It’s the second song to break the ten-minute mark and it once again highlights Mare Cognitum’s progressive tendencies. The wall of noise is intentionally mind-blowing and the song is really catchy. There’s no harm in showing ambition is there?. Luminiferous Aether ends in majestic fashion with Aether Wind. Hints of modern metal creep into the sound and the off-kilter moments threaten to throw you off course, as the rhythms are hard to pick out at times. What is consistent about it though is the urgency and pace of the percussion. There seems to be an awful lot going on within the song and it rounds out a hugely imaginative and inspiring album. This could well be the black metal record of the year and the one that (perhaps) thrusts Mare Cognitum out of obscurity. 

You can stream Luminiferous Aether via Mare Cognitum's bandcamp page below (where it's also available for purchase digitally) :-

CD pre-orders are available now via I, Voidhanger Records - A vinyl version will be released later on via Fallen Empire Records too.

Mare Cognitum Facebook -
I, Voidhanger Records Facebook -
Fallen Empire Records Facebook -

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