Normally, after a band puts out a near-legendary split that is a masterwork in its own right, you’d expect both bands to maybe take another year or two when that split consists of enough material to make for two full-lengths for both bands involved, but, clearly, you don’t understand what you’re dealing with if you’re expecting that from the likes of Mare Cognitum. As one of the progenitors of the modern state of atmospheric black metal, the one-man entity has made a name for himself by being one of the best at what he does, and it’s absolutely staggering to think it’s been six years since the last full-length from the man. Well, patience has finally paid off with this new offering being everything we could’ve asked for and at the same time so much more.
When one is to sit down and consider using the word “epic” or “masterful” when describing the likes of Mare Cognitum, it can very well be considered a moot description since everything that this band has done has categorically shaken the black metal scene in some form or another with the entirety of the atmospheric corners of the style turning its heads unanimously to gaze in awe. Thus, to declare any work from the band as “one of its best yet” is to try and rank a discography that doesn’t have a single mare or blemish for the most part, but it is with “Solar Paroxysm” that I cannot help but stand my ground and say that this album should easily be considered one of the band’s best full-lengths to date. As the fifth album, Mare Cognitum didn’t need to prove anything to anyone but that didn’t stop this artist from going all out as it often feels in many ways the work that feels most in-tune with the inner turmoil behind the mastermind of Mare Cognitum. Blend all that focused fury with masterclass black metal and what you get is a work that should absolutely be considered one of the pillars of the style for the rest of the year to come, and I will unquestionably hoist “Solar Paroxysm” to such heights. Everything needed to make such a shift is all there without any bit of the record faltering in quality or persistence as Mare Cognitum wastes no time and uses every possible second to its advantage to make these five tracks as bombastic and glorious as they possibly can as it’s the whole of “Solar Paroxysm” that fascinates without question and it’s the whole of “Solar Paroxysm” that gives us that proper hit of that Mare Cognitum brand of mastery that we’ve been dying for! This is that god-tier black metal that cannot be denied, and should anyone be looking for one of the next albums to talk about from the land of black metal then “Solar Paroxysm” is a shoo-in for the discussion.
Any time there’s new material from the likes of Mare Cognitum it is a cause to celebrate by all accounts with his works being always considered as genre-defining when they do come around, and I cannot help but feel that “Solar Paroxysm” will be given the same treatment, and rightfully so. Just from the news of a fresh record from the band is enough to give listeners the impression that something truly impressive has been brought together in order to bring the album to life, and it is all five of these staggering tracks that give credence to such a thought without exception.
“Solar Paroxysm” releases on March 19th via I, Voidhanger Records!
LISTEN to an advanced track from “Solar Paroxysm” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Mare Cognitum on Facebook here.