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Cognitive - Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction Award winner

Cognitive
Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction
by Justin Joseph at 13 September 2021, 10:40 PM

COGNITIVE are a US based Technical Death Metal outfit formed in 2011, since their conception they have released one (1) EP and three (3) albums with their most recent release and fourth album, titled, "Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction". Sooo…how is the album? Let's find out!

The first notably positive on this album is the production which gives the feeling as though the album was forged in a factory that assembles cyborgs…now, you're probably thinking….."whoooooa….what???" Let me explain, the beauty of this album is where the aggression flows , but not in a liner stream, the flow undulates and permeates through different spikes of extremity brought forth by COGNITIVE, now while this may not seem alien, the highlight of this is the manner in which the human-felt emotion is harnessed and channelled, instead of having the unbridled extremity be displayed in a carnage-like spirit where it presents itself  like a throbbing jugular vein being slashed, spraying a Rorschach of crimson upon the wall, the same human element of rage is present but is now implemented into a more mechanized structure, like a machine that contains a human mind, it's actions would be more calculated and timely, where no movement is wasted but there is still a chance where wrath can pollute it's circuitry. "To feed the worms" is a track which demonstrates the positive of the mix, since the intro of it implements a chugging pattern in which the production enhances the effect of chords giving it a bludgeoning dissonance, as though a metallic fist is caving into a chest in an incremental fashion but with a tinge of rage that electrifies it's cold-steel body.

The musical elements displayed is another highpoint on the album, as it can almost be described as a liquefied organism not so much as a structural solid foundation….what is meant by this is that COGNITIVE doesn't conform to one genre within Extreme Metal, yes…it's DNA composition is that of Death Metal but there exist other components embedded within its chemical structure, such as Progressive Metal, Technical Death Metal and even Deathcore. The positive that this trait holds is that each segment of the genres mentioned aren't brought forth in a rigid manner where it feels stiff or arthritic, instead morphs and takes form based on human malice, songs like "Eniac" and "From the Depths" exhibit a chameleon-like skin where the musical structure adapts to the varied stylistic changes that ranges from rhythmic patterns in the aggressive riffing to the assault fuelled percussion, but it is the meandering flow of the patterns used that would implement groove-laden riffs conjoined with jazz like rhythm crowning off with concrete-pounding breakdowns. Now that's not the only thing this album offers, but it's the manner in which they are constructed, just enough to not sound monotonous but instead the intricate pattern magnifies the atmosphere.

Moving on to the vocals which makes up the core of this machine and serves as the head of this monument that mutates into different faces in the same manner in which the vox takes on various forms matching the malevolence of the playing which ranges from low gutturals to your standard Death Metal registers. If one were to imagine the vocals a picture would be painted of an extra-terrestrial entity that possesses human flesh burrowing into the innards as it rearranges organs slithering up the larynx as contemptuous hate festering within the stomach is expelled through the lungs. Tracks such, “Destitute" and "The Maw" exhibit this vocal prowess as it amplifies the density of the atmosphere conjured through the bellowing noises erupted.

Overall, this is a fantastic album that blends the different shades of Death Metal into one cohesive package that sounds neither forced nor tacked together haphazardly. Instead the complex chords and percussion patterns used foster a mechanized and alien-like spirit whose tendrils bring each track to life. I would highly recommend this to all Death Metal and Deathcore fans alike since there is much to gain pleasure from on this release with the intricacies and brutality.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Eniac
2. The Maw
3. Arterial Red
4. From the Depths
5. Oroborous
6. To Feed the Worms
7. Malevolent Thoughts
8. Tearing Tendon from Bone
9. Destitute
10. Of a Hastened Extinction
Lineup:
Rob Wharton - Guitars
Harry Lannon - Guitars (Lead)
Shane Jost - Vocals
Tyler Capone - Vitale Bass
AJ Viana - Drums
Record Label: Unique Leader Records
     


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