I first met the COGNITIVE boys back in 2014 through the usual Philly band peeps on Facebook. I got to meet them in person at the Devastation On the Nation Tour in 2015 and quite frankly when they kicked things off they set the intensity bar so high that few bands who followed could touch them. A year later came album Deformity that Zenae D. Zukowski, one of our A&GS team members, gave a favorable review of. She dug it, I dug it; it was pretty cool. Fast forward to now and the band has a new disc Matricide (out now, Unique Leader Records). A couple of lineup changes have occured with Shane Jost taking over on vocals and Armen Koroghlian now in the drummer’s throne. So is this a new and improved COGNITIVE? In a word…yes.
Now calm down, this is not in any way a slight to those who were in the band before. I just happen to think that Jost’s vocals suit the band’s sound better than his predecessor, who is tremendously talented in his own right, and doing great things musically. I also think that Armen on drums is great for this band because I’ve seen him play live and he is fucking jaw-droppingly good! His rhythm, blast beats, and fills kick fifty shades of ass. Anytime there is new blood in a group they’re bound to be full of piss and vinegar, and guitarists Rob Wharton (rhythm) and Harry Lannon (lead) sound armed and ready to shoot you in the face with a full clip of riffs!
Song-wise I immediately gravitated to title track “Matricide” and “With Reckless Abandon” (my favorite), as these two are brutal as Hell while also managing to be catchy where it counts. “False Profit” has a really good arrangement and the band is gelling like crazy on this number. There are some elements of Deathcore, but they actually enhance the goings on if you ask me. And on the Deathcore front “Fragmented Perception” goes all in. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to you. Me, I didn’t love it. However, the one-two punch of opening song “Omnicide” followed by “Architect of Misery” puts on a clinic of how to operate Brutal Slamming Death Metal 101.
“Vessel of Violence” has some serious riffage and a real neck-snapping quality, and “Torn From the Void” comes as if from nowhere. I’m not saying any more. Fuck you, listen to it and you’ll see!! All I know is, at the end of the day COGNITIVE have definitely released an album that they can not only be proud of, but as far as I’m concerned is their best one yet. These guys seem to get better and better with each release. So, if you haven’t already, go ahead and pick up your copy of Matricide from wherever it is you buy your music. You will not be disappointed!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Matricide”, “With Reckless Abandon”, “Architect of Misery”, “Torn From the Void”, “Omnicide”