Review Summary: to infinity and beyond
My problem with most astral black metal is that even though it claims to be inspired by the infinity of the cosmos, most of it seemingly draws from the same quadrant of sounds. One listen to Darkspace’s seminal Darkspace I
, and you have not only essentially heard it all, but you’ve also heard the best. That was until Mare Cognitum, black metal solo project of Jacob Buczarski ignited into existence mid-2011 and finally delivered a vehicle robust enough to survey all the universe has to offer. His newest, Solar Paroxysm
is the band’s most thorough exploration yet; riffs detonate like sunbursts and shrieks echo into the unending void as the songs unfurl into chaotic yet gorgeous celestial vistas. Buczarski has always known his way around melody, but here his command is at its best, each track imbued with moments that’ll orbit your mind for hours afterward. We’ll likely never reach the ends of the universe, but because of Mare Cognitum we’re a little further than before.