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Review: Cognitive – Deformity

Cognitive is back at it again with another sick release called Deformity. In the last year or so, Cognitive has signed with Unique Leader Records, who has helped Cognitive produce and promote the new full-length. If you have listened to Cognitive before, you have an idea of what to expect. Head to Cognitive’s Facebook and check out Deformity on Spotify, iTunes, and Bandcamp!

I’ve been a Cognitive fan for at least a year and a half now, but there was nothing in their previous work to prepare me for Deformity. Thinking back to their last album: we already knew Cognitive could lay down a nice riff and drum track and we knew the sick vocals fit that. While the last album was good and I did enjoy it, it wasn’t anything too profound – especially compared to Deformity. Cognitive had some good melodies and harmonizing, but Deformity takes it to a new level.

The first thing I’ll touch on is the vocals. The vocals sound more guttural and nasty. Maybe the recording/mastering process was a bit more refined this time around than on Cognitive. Even if it isn’t, the vocals are just a lot more nasty on Deformity. There is a good amount of variation between the gutturals and high vocals and they are almost always done at the right times in a song. “The Cull” features some of the sickest vocals on all of Deformity and is arguably one of the heavier songs depending on what you consider heavy. “The Cull” takes on a borderline brutal death metal approach to things and is a lot more intense with…well, everything. The vocals are at their lowest in this song and the drums do a lot of fancy fills and what not.

The next thing is how some songs transition between verses and bridges, looking specifically at “Haunted Justice” and “Merciless Forest.” There are a ton of examples I can use for this note, but “Merciless Forest” has some of the best transitions (in my humble opinion) on the album. The intro into the “main” riff is one of the many riff variations on “Merciless Forest” that are my favorite because the intro starts with a tech death kinda vibe then goes into a more melodramatic chord-oriented verse. The different types of riffing styles adds a lot to the horror atmosphere going on here. You can picture a group of suckers looming around a forest until they get nabbed by some psychopath. Towards the end well-paced chugs serve as the camera zooming out on the scene of the psychopath walking around the forest with one of the dumb character’s heads and an ax or something. “Merciless Forest” just fits that so well. It’s really a cool song and is arguably one of my favorites on Deformity.

I don’t find it necessary to write about every single song. Especially since you will only fully understand how great Deformity is when you listen to it. Every song has a unique flow to it and does something different. The bass is audible at all times and is actually an individual on each track. Cognitive did really well with this release and it deserves all of the praise it receives. The only thing I can think of to make this album better is by getting rid of the intro track, but even that is cool. Perhaps if the album had more tracks? Deformity is not an album to sleep on by any means and is easily a candidate for my best albums of the year list.

Rate: 9.8/10

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