While dedicated full-lengths are certainly the best at capturing a band's artistic vision and exhibiting what they want to project to the world, they don't tell the whole story. Like with any creative output, disparate influences and unlikely peers can have a surprisingly deep impact on an artist's growth -- and, though these factors might not be glaringly obvious on mainline releases, we have the wonderful world of splits, compilations, and (especially now during the Covid era) interesting covers to illustrate what makes our favorite heavy metal juggernauts tick.

In a rather daring example of this, the atmospheric black metal entity Mare Cognitum has teamed up with The Black Dahlia Murder's Trevor Strnad to cover the Thin Lizzy classic "Emerald." While every part of that sentence may seem more unbelievable than the last, it's real, and you can listen to it right now:



Trevor's vocals and a biting metallic reworking of "Emerald" come together spectacularly here, where the harmony-laden guitar work captures the spirit of the classic without stripping off any of the menace that the heavy metal treatment of the song provides.

The song is part of a massive compilation that's been put together for the benefit of Markov Soroka's (Drown, Tchornobog, Aureole) father, who unfortunately suffered a heart attack earlier this year and is faced with serious medical debt. The track list, featuring songs from a host of other showstoppers like Panopticon and Spectral Lore, is a jaw-dropping reminder of the selflessness of our community as well as the sheer talent and ingenuity within -- I would never have expected to see any of the covers (especially this Thin Lizzy one) cross from the realm of delirious fantasy into reality.


Vigor Reconstruct: A Benefit For The Soroka Family releases October 2nd. Pre-orders available via Bandcamp, who will be waiving their usual fees on purchases on October 2nd as well.

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