I have been following COGNITIVE since last December when I saw them perform live at Blackthorn 51 in Queens, NY. That got me hooked. It was a performance that I continue to remember as they gave it everything they had to shred, purge and grunt without leaving any room for mercy. Not only did their live performance suck me in but, even their merch as they have artwork that incorporates horror, gore and all things controversial. I briefly hung out with them too that night, and despite their hard style, they are rather chill dudes. Moving forward to now, I am excited and honored to review their new album as Deformity is set to release this Friday, October 28 via Unique Leader Records.
I do not know how Jorel Hart (vocals) has a voice after his vicious delivery on this album as he adds more of a Deathcore sound. However, there is so much more, and you just have to give it a few listens and trust that these South Jersey/Philly guys know what they are doing. It seems they worked hard to be as brutal as ever, where sympathy will only be laughed at during these nine tracks.
The album opens with dark imagery during “Awakening the Miscreation.” It brings death, aggression, revenge and the essence of a horror film to life especially when introducing Harry Lannon’s killer riffs. Endless destruction continues with “Birthing the Deformity” as it rushes in with an initial Deathcore sound while Hart’s vocals intensify. Lannon changes the pace with a guitar solo as it adds an additional engagement to the song. Abrasiveness continues during “Haunted Justice” that highlights Mike Castro’s drum talent as he increases the momentum with pedaling speeds. Lannon introduces a Progressive Metal influenced guitar solo while maintaining their original Death Metal aesthetic and I have no idea how he succeeded in doing so. “Beneath the Floorboards” slowly enters next as the vocals continue with endless and unstoppable grunts.
I enjoyed the introduction to “The Forgotten” as it kicks off with unique instrumentals, however, this does not last long as Hart’s vocals erupts. The melody shifts between Hart’s harsh screams and a slower tune as it generates a different style for the band as a whole. “Dead Soil” enters next where soon after, it spirals into complete darkness. As the album reaches the final third, “The Cull” comes in at a faster rhythm. It has an interesting guitar riff as though the song is trying to break into the gates of hell. Lannon continues to bring a progressive style with his guitar solo in “Wraiths” as the technical arrangement entertains you.
The album concludes with “Merciless Forest” as it is another coarse tune with explosive riffs that makes it standout the most of these tracks. It is a great conclusion to a full-length vigorous album. Listening to Deformity is a great way to let out some personal steam. I sure needed this bombastic outlet.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “The Forgotten”, “Merciless Forest”