Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: Cognitive - Cognitive

Cognitive are a band formed in 2011 out of New Jersey and have played a massive quantity of shows, opening for some prolific acts of the metal world since their conception. Not surprisingly, they've gained a mass of followers during their short career, including metalheads from all across the United States; most notably some hardcore head bangers from Montreal who've flocked to their most recent United States tour. They've managed to achieve this amount of success with just a previous EP being released in 2012. Now the band have put forth their debut LP, aptly self-titled.

Genre: Technical Brutal Death Metal
Release Date: April 20th, 2014
  1. Cut the Fuck Up
  2. The Aftermath
  3. Blood Hungry
  4. Worlds Beneath
  5. Regurgitated Existence
  6. Oceanic Erosion
  7. Willingness of the Weak
  8. Imbuing of Wrath
  9. Fire from the Sky
  10. Affliction Humanity
Total Playtime: 31 minutes, 22 seconds




Rating: 9.5/10




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Cognitive are a band formed in 2011 out of New Jersey and have played a massive quantity of shows, opening for some prolific acts of the metal world since their conception. Not surprisingly, they've gained a mass of followers during their short career, including metalheads from all across the United States; most notably some hardcore head bangers from Montreal who've flocked to their most recent United States tour. They've managed to achieve this amount of success with just a previous EP being released in 2012. Now the band have put forth their debut LP, aptly self-titled.

The album starts off promisingly with some tight drum rolls that flow fluidly into an onslaught of hefty riffs and guttural vocals. Each of the ten tracks are made up of highly visionary compositions that bring imagination and life back to the realm of technical brutal death metal, don't for a moment believe that the promising beginnings of the content set up unkept promises; each song has something different to offer, from the lighter "Willingness of the Weak" to the heavier "Regurgitated Existence" to the grooving "Affliction of Humanity" and even the slam-bound "Fire from the Sky". The imagination of the content reaches it's pinnacle in "Ocean Erosion", which is an entirely instrumental acoustic piece with atmospheric background inclusions of waves and wind; rare is an understatement when describing this type of instrumental of the respective genre that Cognitive so prevalently dominate.

The deep growling vocals have a certain aggression to them that is rivaled by few, and the lyrics are actually enunciated emphatically with the vocalists obvious passion. The energy of the vocalist is so outstanding that it overshadows the instruments at times, as during "Blood Hungry" and "Worlds Beneath". To keep things from becoming redundant, there's a solid mash-up of these bowel obliterating gutturals and ear piercing highs, working akin in the same contrasting respect as the two guitars. Outfitted with an enticing distortion, the rhythm guitar pumps out a huge range of palm-muted riffs, most of the time at such an acceleration that one would think the guitarist has a mechanical wrist implant specifically for the ridiculous control and precision execution that's displayed. Not without contrast, the rhythm guitar is also responsible for slow power riffs during zesty slam influenced breakdowns, ala "Regurgitated Existence", and the use of abrupt rests that throw the listener off their game. These riffs feature many single string bridges, tremolo sections and tasty pinch harmonics to add to the never ending arsenal of techniques possessed by the band. Where the contrast falls is within the lead guitar, which comes with a cleaner distortion type and often uplifts select tracks that it appears in, such as "The Aftermath". While the rhythm section is complex, the solos are usually more tame and focus on melodic and/or lightning quick administration rather than technicality; the best example being found in "Willingness of the Weak".


The drums are just as ludicrously exceptional, maintaining a tight frame around the guitars as they fluently slip out of one pattern into the next. The rhythms here are changing as consistently as the mainframe guitar, and often follow the brief rests that it takes. The tribal beats in "Affliction Humanity" is followed up with quick double bass kicks and is some of the best drumming on the album. The mixing on the snare ensures that it doesn't pop too loudly, the bass kicks are situated fairly low but don't become overbearing and the cymbal and hi-hat hits dominate both the left and right speaker at alternating times, aiming the drums down the barrel of the gun that is this full-length release.

Cognitive have released an outstanding debut full-length album that has little to no flaws found. It would've been nice if the bass was mixed higher, as it has quite the grooving set of lines to offer up but it takes a well trained ear to focus in on this element and will be missed by the general audience, with the exception of "Fire from the Sky", which is the most bass-reliant track on the album. The amount of contrast between the two vocal types, as well as the lead and rhythm guitar along with the sadistic grooves and slams make this album a fun and enthralling experience even after multiple listens; the many tempo fluctuations and composition changes will remain unpredictable until at least the fifth or sixth playthrough. This album is available at a mere $10.00 USD, which is just a buck a track. Visit Cognitive's Bandcamp page and pick it up today, you definitely will not regret it! Highly recommended and potential album of the year material.

Digital Download Provided by: Cognitive

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