Mare Cognitum

Blasted Heath – Vela Review

Blasted Heath – Vela Review

“All is not well at the edge of the cosmos. Some of us look to the heavens and see a frontier, a blank page for all mankind to fill with the best of ourselves. Others, like the black thrash cosmonauts of Blasted Heath, can only widen their eyes in horror at the vast and indifferent expanse. This foursome may hail from Indianapolis, but their first transmission Vela sounds like a broadcast from a far corner of the galaxy. The message? No one is living long or prospering out here, the ship’s AI is starting to get cheeky, and we’ve lost contact with the colonists on LV-426.” Space madness.

Vimur – Transcendental Violence Review

Vimur – Transcendental Violence Review

“Back in 2019, I raved about Vimur‘s sophomore album, Triumphant Master of Fates. It was a magnificent expulsion of incendiary black metal fueled by venom and vitriol. Three years later, the Atlanta quartet readies their next salvo, entitled Transcendental Violence. Lucifer only knows what the hell that means, but there’s no doubt that destruction awaits.” Violence as currency.

Vorga – Striving toward Oblivion Review

Vorga – Striving toward Oblivion Review

“Space. Black metal. It’s a match made in heaven! People have been writing black metal albums about space for decades, and it doesn’t seem to matter how oversaturated that specific niche gets. Metalheads eat it up. I eat it up. Space is such a massive thing anyway that the possibilities are quite literally infinite to our comparatively minuscule imaginations, so in that way it makes sense that there’s always a new invader breaching the bulkheads. Enter Vorga and their debut full-length, Striving toward Oblivion.” Space inwaders.

Lhaäd – Below Review

Lhaäd – Below Review

Below is the debut full-length from one-person ambient black metal project Lhaäd. This description is likely to conjure up worrisome images of self-indulgent hours-long snoozefests that use tepid atmospheres to mask lazy writing. But Belgian multi-instrumentalist Lykormas, Lhaäd’s prolific mastermind, is not so easy to pigeonhole.” Pigeons without homes.

Noltem – Illusions in the Wake Review

Noltem – Illusions in the Wake Review

“It’s an uncomfortable moment in a reviewer’s life when you stumble across some promo blurb from a band’s label or PR company that is actually right on the money. While I recognize it must be no easy life if your day job is relentlessly writing promo for bands, these mini-essays are normally so pumped full of hyperbole, so riddled with awkward phraseology and so glowing with praise that this band is the second coming of [insert relevant genre titan], that the write-ups are effectively useless as a guide to the band one is about to sonically ingest. Every now and again, however, the promo hits the nail on the head. Such was the case for Connecticut-based atmospheric black metal trio Noltem and its debut, Illusions in the Wake.” Good PR.