Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cognitive - Cognitive (2014;Pathologically Explicit Recordings)

Well, here we are once again with some album reviews, that make's it one article a year? We've really got to get our shit together, haha.

That being said, Cognitive are a little known five-piece based out of New Jersey, USA. They play a slightly hardcore-tinged style of brutal technical death metal with obvious nods to the genres creators Suffocation, and even some to fellow New Jerseyites (Jerseyers? I have no idea), Waking The Cadaver. Expect some incredibly technical playing, massive grooves, crushing blastbeats, and surprisingly enunciated vocals.

The guitar playing, handled by Jake Iannaco and Rob Wharton is incredibly busy, while at the same time being tasteful, melodic, and oddly enough, progressive. From the guitar leads and solos on World's Beneath, to the atmospheric playing near the end of The Aftermath, their guitar playing encompasses everything one would want from this genre. The guitar tone also reminds me of newer Waking The Cadaver, although with more heft and clarity, which is a great thing.

The low end is quite impressive as well, being held down by Mike Castro on drums, and Art Sikora on bass. The drumming, while nothing that will make your jaw drop, accentuates the riffs perfectly, and never seems to be technical just for the sake of it. The bass player holds his own as well, and although I wish the production would allow him to be heard a little bit more, which is my only real nitpick, he does an admirable job.

The vocals could be the make it or break it thing for most people though, as Jorel Hart isn't the typical vocalist for this style. He's guttural while still enunciating quite well, but also jumps into some pseudo-hardcore style vocals. They may not be guttural enough for the average Brutal Death Metal / Slam fan, but at the same time they might be a bit too out there for the standard Death Metal fan. At the end of the day though, for me, I have come to greatly enjoy his vocal style.

I must say, I'm truly surprised these guys aren't blowing up. The songwriting chops employed on this record are stupendous, everything fits perfectly. The musicianship on here is as about as good as you'll find in the genre. And hell, their style easily crosses over from Tech Death, to Brutal Death, to Hardcore, and should appeal to fans of all three genres. This is a must buy for me.


Frank G said...

good review

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the site is still alive, I will definitely check this band out. --Steve

Carl said...

Good to see a new review, I was worried you guys had called it quits haha. I'll definitely be checking this album out, I hope you guys keep posting more regularly as there's been a ton of brutal releases this year!

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