Cognitive - Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction

Band: Cognitive

Album: Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction

Genre: Tech-Death

Label: Unique Leader

Location: South Jersey

FFO: Beneath The Massacre, Bonecarver, Cytotoxin

Cognitive released their debut album back in 2014, where the band began as much more of a grindy, slam outfit. Since then, they have released an album roughly every 2 years with varying quality in production, but still the same non-stop aggression. It wasn’t until their 3rd LP ‘Matricide’ when I caught onto them as someone I can get into. In my ears, I could hear some more elements the band hadn’t ventured into before. The music just became more interesting to me. Now with their newest release, ‘Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction’ not only have they moved away from the one word titles, they have fallen into a sound I personally believe to be their best to date.

From the first seconds, I could already tell this was their best production yet. The instruments feel fuller, and have more attack to them. I can digest each instrument without having to try too hard to actually hear everything going on.

‘Malevolent’ manages to keep things super heavy, fast, and hard hitting as they always have been, but incorporates other styles. Cognitive no longer proves to be ‘tech-death’ just because they are fast, but also because they have a lot more technicalities as well. At least, these details are certainly being heard now much clearer.

The songs being a good length of 3-4 minutes on average leaves time to get a lot done without overdoing too much. A main struggle I always run into with bands like this who are constantly pumbling you with riffs and blast beats, tend to stale out quickly if they don’t have enough switches or tricks up their sleeves to cover the ground of 10-14 four minute tracks.

In Cognitive’s case, specifically with this album, I think it could have been a little shorter. I did find a few tracks to overstay their welcome for what they were. With that being said, I never disliked my time during this album. Nothing sounded bad. Just suffered the same issue I keep finding, being an eventual repetitiveness. I gotta give it to them though, for the most part, this was nothing but entertaining and they kept a rather good pace.

A song I wanted to highlight was ‘Destitute’ because it stands out amongst all of their songs to me. It’s a slower one at times, features singing vocals, and is probably the best paced song on the album. I’d be lying if I didn’t mention it reminded me a lot of Fit For An Autopsy during that chorus. Obviously not a bad thing though.

Between their debut and second LP, not much changed other than the logo. Second to third, is when I started hearing some progression. Now their latest has shown the biggest leap yet from production, to structuring, and overall playing. They are no longer the one note band they started as. A natural growth to expect from a band, but happy to see nonetheless. Shane has not only been bringing in some new flavor, but he himself has also grown as a vocalist. Presenting more range and technique than what I’ve heard from him before. All of this contributed to this being their best project to date.

Cognitive has taken a sharp turn in the right direction in terms of what I wanted to hear from these guys. Maybe some wish they stuck with the primitive caveman type rhythms front to back, but I personally love the different spices tossed into their brutality. A healthy yet safe advancement to their sound.

Rating: 8/10

Strongest Song: The Maw, From The Depths


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