Mare Cognitum – “Crimson Abyss: NGC 2238″

More and more metal bands have been turning to the cosmos for inspiration in recent years, realizing that what flies above in the great unknown might be far more interesting — and menacing — than what lies beneath. Everyone from Inquisition to Mesarthim are astronomers, and, hell, we used the word “cosmic” three times in our June edition of the Black Market. The one-man band Mare Cognitum is an early practitioner of what might be called cosmic black metal, and on excellent past albums, Mare Cognitum has blended atmospheric space vibes, radical guitars, and blistering black metal into intricate and deeply rich songs that managed to capture both a sense of awe inspired by outer space and the fury of the forces at play in the unknown. Now, on “Crimson Abyss: NGC 2238,” taken from a split with the likeminded band Aureole, Mare Cognitum seems more clearly focused on the dark side of what might lurk in deep space. Sargeist-like riffs buzzsaw through the void, and some of the technical laser-precision on past albums has been replaced with a more gruffly aggressive and muscular stance. In exploring the cosmos, Mare Cognitum has found something sinister. Listen.

Resonance: Crimson Void, a split with Aureole, is out now on Fallen Empire Records.