South Jersey Tech-Death Metallers ‘Cognitive’ are back with their third full length, continuing to build on the solid foundations laid by their self titled debut and follow up album ‘Deformity’. Sound wise it’s just as brutal as those predecessors but this time around more complex but interestingly, at the same time more listenable, they haven’t polished their sound, it’s just rounder, fuller with more flow but still remaining a punishing listen.
It’s always been the aim of ‘Cognitive’ “to create heavy, intensely technical music whilst maintaining an edge of creativity” without making the sound over produced, this time they’ve pushed their boundaries considerably, it’s a far cry from that rawer debut release, it’s both complex and catchy, bringing in more elements, a confident release that demonstrates how fully in command of their sound they are. The guitar work is very impressive, highly technical with an abundance of intricate patterns and riff work bolstered by drum work that is a thunderous mass of rolling patterns and pummelling rhythms adding a lot of weight to the sound, enhanced as before by multi level vocals, I really like how they work alongside the rest of the instrumentation, a well defined growl and a higher, also well defined, scream throughout the release.
Starting as they mean to continue with one of my to favourite tracks ‘Omnicide’, a punchy up tempo offering with a bit of a D-beat to start, crazy tech riffing and the first half lead work has a majestic soar, I was won over completely from this point and it all pulls together nicely in the latter part with sultry bass lines that simmer beneath the surface, a face-ripping start.
‘Architect of Misery’ is full of discordant elements, hugely technical with dense breakdowns, and tight chugging patterns and title track ‘Matricide’ opens on a frenzy of drum battery, riffs and roars, switching to a punchier pace after the first wave of breakdowns then elevated buy a soaring chunk of stunning lead work.
My other favourite, although the choice wasn’t easy, ‘False Profit’ is dark powerful with the addition of a squeal to some of the vocals, the pace quickening midway, an utterly crushingly heavy track and just to make sure of that there’s a final drum assault to close.
‘With Reckless Abandon’ is a full tilt track with slick direction and tempo switching, break downs jammed between technical bursts with drum rolls bursting through this organized madness.
‘Clouds of Rust’ delivers sharp riffs , insane technical lead work contrasted by squealing closing leads and midway there’s a hint of dark melody in amongst the closing drum work, more soaring lead work with tears out of out of a crushing breakdown and the closing segment of lead work developing a decidedly thrashy quality.
On ‘Fragmented Perception’ the squeals return briefly and in stark contrast the track suddenly ditches the sharp technical edge to reveal breathtakingly beautiful closing lead work which took me completely by surprise and ‘Vessel of Violence’ has a suitably aggressive punch contrasted with great second half lead work that rises and falls with reckless abandon.
The penultimate track ‘Torn from the Void’ is punchy and up tempo with insane technical bursts, another track that once again contrasts brutality with magnificent lead work, the element to this album I like the most as one intensifies the effect of the other, slowing and flowing seamlessly into closing piece ‘Denouement’ a piano based instrumental, which as with their debut release, where they dropped in midway trough ‘Oceanic Erosion’ an acoustic /violin instrumental to allow breathing space, this time they’ve added it at the end as a wind down outro, and to be honest, you need to wind down after listening to this intense and brutal album.
‘Matricide’ is available from Unique Leader Records, it’s guaranteed to set your pulse racing and clear out your brain cobwebs.