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venerdì 4 giugno 2021

Mare Cognitum - Solar Paroxysm

#FOR FANS OF: Atmospheric Black
In few subgenres there are as many cases of solo projects as atmospheric black metal, and most of the times, these solo projects are better than actual bands. This can happen, maybe because the artistic vision of its creator is presented in its purest form, which is a key element to create music that touches our soul, even if technically it could be more complex or enriched by different points of view. The feeling is strong in these projects and black metal is a genre, where the feeling is particularly important. Ten years ago, it was created one of those projects in California, under the moniker Mare Cognitum. Its creator, Jacob Buczarski, has been quite active as he released splits and five full lengths, always with a solid level of performance which has given to this project a certain respect in the underground.

'Solar Paroxysm' is the newest offer by Mare Cognitum and it presents five long tracks, clocking each one of them around ten minutes. Stylistically, this album is a perfect example of black metal with an atmospheric touch, where the guitars play a key role. You won´t find here predominant keys as the guitars are responsible of creating both the most brutal and fastest sections of Mare Cognitum’s music, and also the most atmospheric sections. The album opener "Antaresian" shows a nice work with the guitars. They sound absolutely sharpy, yet with an intense emotional touch, creating a very addictive song, although the pace is quite intense in its eleven minutes of existence. The album gets more brutal with the subsequent track "Frozen Star Divinization", where the riffs lose the emotional touch in favour of extremer and biting touch. This initial part shows compositions with a relentless pace, predominantly furious and with a fast pace, that maybe would welcome a greater variety in terms of speed. A nice example of this expected diversity its exemplified in the third composition, entitled "Terra Requiem". This song has clearly a greater atmospheric touch with some excellent riffs, the tremolo guitars sound in this track beautiful as they create a hypnotic atmosphere. It also helps the fact that the song has in a great part of its structure, a much slower pace, where this type of riffs can shine more. It is also interesting to listen to how the song abruptly changes its pace as it has a very intense and fast final section, which I especially enjoy. The contrast between slow atmospheric parts and the furious black metal trademark, yet atmospheric, speed is always great ingredient when it is done right, like in this occasion. The final part of the album brings back the blast-beats and the furious guitars. In any case, the riffing is quite good and though the songs can lack some variety in terms of pace in certain moments, the guitars compensate this weaker aspect of the compositions, with an excellent performance. The riffing is very well elaborated and executed with plenty of intense melodies, which make the songs captivating. Just give a listen to the last song "Ataraxia Tunnels", which has excellent melodies and a very intense final part, where different layers of guitars create a brilliant ending.

'Solar Paroxysm' is, in conclusion, not a game-changer, but a quite solid album of black metal with an intense atmospheric touch, where the strongest aspect is the excellent guitar work which always leads the compositions, reining above any other instrument. (Alain González Artola)