Origin: Greece USA
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Space Ambient
Label: I Voidhanger Records
Year: 2013

Spectral Lore from Greece and Mare Cognitum from USA, have joined forces, creating a very special album, entitled “Sol“, a must for fans of cosmic atmospheric ambient black metal. “Sol” is far from the typical split albums, since the two bands cooperated, creating a concept album, with 3 long songs. The first track is by Mare Cognitum, with guest guitars by Ayloss of Spectral Lore, the second one by Spectral Lore with guest vocals by Jacob Buczarski of Mare Cognitum and the closing track is worked by both of them. The album was released by the Italian label I, Voidhanger Records on June 2013.   

Mare Cognitum is the personal project of Jacob Buczarski, from Santa Ana, California, formed in 2011. He has already self-released two full-length albums, “The Sea Which Has Become Known” in 2011 and “An Extraconscious Lucidity” in 2012. The first track of this split, the 29-minute long “Sol Ouroboros” belongs to them. The song combines ambient synths, instrumental black metal, raw black metal outbursts and atmospheric melodic black metal, while I can even listen to some technical death metal elements! Its long duration and several changes make it sound like a full album, rather than one song. The production is very good and despite the space ambient atmosphere of their music, guitars are very dominant and technical, unusual for bands of this style! Jacob isn’t afraid to experiment and the result in this song totally justifies him.

The second track “Sol Medius” is composed and performed by Spectral Lore, the personal project of Ayloss from Athens, Greece. This ambient black metal band was formed in 2005 and so far has released 3 full-length albums (“I” in 2006, “II” in 2007 and “Sentinel” in 2012) and 3 split releases. “Sol Medius” is another huge song, lasting for almost 26 minutes. Spectral Lore’s composition moves in a more chaotic avant-garde atmospheric black metal style, with a couple of ambient, almost silent passages and some wonderful melodic lead guitars. It has a more underground raw sound and a less technical approach compared to the first song. The participation of both musicians in each others song, as well as their common concept, abridge the differences between the two bands.

The last track is composed by both bands. It is a completely ambient song, entitled “Red Giant“, with a total duration of almost 15 minutes. This collaborative work by Ayloss and Jacob Buczarski is a very atmospheric and quite silent song, a typical example of space ambient. As written above, the lyrical concept of the album is common, since lyrics were written in parallel and as the band members say: “it is an attempt at a kind of cosmological philosophy; searching the vast, cold expanses of the universe(-s) for traces of meaning and purpose”.

Sol” is a wonderful album by itself, with quality music (especially the two basic songs), but it is also a great opportunity to discover two great atmospheric ambient black metal bands, Mare Cognitum and Spectral Lore. If you like this album, you better explore their previous works too, since they totally deserve it. “Sol” is released by I, Voidhanger Records in a digipak edition with 8-page booklet, including the lyrics. The beautiful artwork is by Josef Barton and the layout by Francesco Gemelli. Below you can find links for both bands and listen to their music on your own, since this genre is mostly judged by the atmosphere it creates and isn’t easy to describe with words.


Rating:  (8,5/10)

Spectral Lore @ Bandcamp
Mare Cognitum @ Facebook
Mare Cognitum @ Bandcamp


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