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Mare Cognitum – An Extraconscious Lucidity

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I wasn’t aware of California’s Mare Cognitum before last year when sole member Jacob Buczarski released the group’s third record, Phobos Monolith via I, Voidhanger. That album was a fine primer on the basic points of Buczarski’s style: sharp black metal with a deep space aesthetic and long song lengths. Like most atmospheric black metal bands, the ideal listening condition is total immersion. Unlike most atmospheric black metal bands, I found the music solid enough to listen to the whole thing.

Buczarski’s work goes for the same sweet, dreamlike effect that I think both Myrkur and Liturgy have dabbled in. The difference is that Mare Cognitum makes the hi-fi black metal vibe work without coming across like a slap in the face.

I like the second Mare Cognitum record, 2012’s An Extraconscious Lucidity, even better than the third. The songs are more digestible and the melodies are a bit more focused. That album was only released via download, as well as 150 CD-R’s, but Buczarski has remastered the record, which will be released with new artwork and a 12-page booklet with lyrics, again by I, Voidhanger.

I don’t have a favorite label, but I admire what I, Voidhanger is doing right now: focusing on progressive acts that don’t rely on technicality or gimmicks to give their songs flavor. We’re streaming a second album from the label tomorrow—one that isn’t a reissue.

The second edition, streaming below, sounds quite different from the first. The vocals are a bit harder to hear, but the guitars and electronic elements sound more well-defined than the original pressing.

Buczarski had the following to say about the reissue. “The reissue of An Extraconscious Lucidity is really the release of a completely new album. Although I decided to call it a remaster for simplicity’s sake, it is a lot more than that, as I dug into each piece of the original recordings and drew out what I felt was missing in the first release. Now, with more powerful sound and visual presentation, I feel that this is the album I wanted to release three years ago finally becoming reality. It is really the completion of an unfinished work – so you are truly experiencing An Extraconscious Lucidity for the first time.”

—Joseph Schafer

An Extraconscious Lucidity will be released on September 25 via I, Voidhanger. Follow Mare Cognitum on Facebook here.

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