Cognitive – Matricide (Review)

Cognitive - MatricideCognitive are a US technical death metal band and this is their third album.

Matricide is the follow up to 2016’s Deformity, which was a record that I really enjoyed.

At 41 minutes in length Matricide is a full 10 minutes longer than its predecessor. That’s not the only difference either; the music, although broadly similar to that of Deformity, has more quirks and ideas thrown in, and the band have a new singer too.

Cognitive have obviously been practising their instruments, as the level of technical wizardry on display here has increased along with the average song length. However, with this increase in chaotic fretboard assaults and frenzied drumming comes a refined sense of songwriting, allowing for a certain level of accessibility to be heard alongside the technical mayhem. This won’t be played on commercial radio anytime soon, of course, but it’s not without hooks or memorability either.

There’s a savagery to the songs on Matricide that borders between controlled and uncontrolled, like the band have a tight grip on what they’re doing, but could let go at any moment should the mood take them. Brutal grooves and pounding beatdowns sit alongside streaks of red hot soloing and the type of guitars that seem to want to wrap wire around everything and pull it tight.

Melodic and atmospheric sections are also used well, which further enhances the listening experience of Matricide.

Considering I really enjoyed the vocals on the last album, I was concerned by the change in singer, to be honest. However, once heard, I shouldn’t have worried as the new guy delivers the goods in a most pleasing manner.

Matricide is an enjoyable and worthwhile progression in Cognitive’s bristling, aggressive sound. The band continue to successfully balance brutality and technicality, and while the latter may be heightened in some areas on Matricide, the former keeps it in check with pure strength and willpower.

Highly recommended.

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