Cognitive
Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction

You are starting to hear and feel the impact of covid and the chaotic final year of Trump’s administration on some albums being put out now. Albums that were written in seclusion, online, in depressive states, in rage. I think we are seeing a real creative burst in the metal scene, that might be one of the positives to come out of 2020, and one such band/album is the 4th effort from Cognitive, Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction (another being Withered’s Verloren).

After three releases, with one-word titles (2014s self-titled, 2016s Deformity and 2018s Matricide), you can see there’s is a little something extra just in the album title itself. And also, seeing and interacting with lone original guitarist, Rob Wharton online, you could feel something, that along with an injection of new blood since Matricide,  with new bassist Tyler Capone-Vitale (ex- The Kennedy Veil) and drummer AJ Viana (Hath), that was signaling this was going to be a bar-raising album for the band.  And it is.

Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction is a monster of an album. With a notably increased level of massive grooves (which they always had) and Decapitated and sometimes, even Meshuggah styled jackhammer stammering and lurching (i.e. “The Maw”, “Arterial Red”) added to the band’s always competent tech death, the end result is a superb effort of modern technical metal. Some might be tempted to use the dreaded ‘deathcore’ label, and certainly, at times it has a beatdown/downtempo deathcore vibe (i.e. end of opener “Eniac” and end of “To Feed The Worms”), but there is still plenty of tech death blasting, noodle-ry and solos to keep tech death fans involved (“Ouroborous”, “Malevolent Thoughts”, “Of a Hastened Extinction”).

The 40-minute runtime has no filler or weak moments, from the pummeling aforementioned opener “Eniac”, through “To Feed the Worms”, and devastating “From the Depths”, to the closer “Of a Hastened Extinction”, all bring hefty, double bass trundles galore as well as ample staccato blasts. And unlike Whitechapel’s mid-era slow down or Fit For an Autopys‘s new sound, this isn’t a dumbed-down emphasis on grooves, but a massive dose of heft to an already pretty heavy tech-death band, as heard on “Tearing Tendon From the Bone” and they get even more tempered on “Destitute”, a track likely to divide fans with clean vocals and a moody, slow, steady pace, before a melodic mid song peak.

Another killer release from Unique Leader who is the pole position leader for the label of the year so far in 2021 (Mental Cruelty‘s A Hill to Die Upon is one of my top albums of the year so far, Osiah’s Loss, kicked my ass, and a less slammy, more techy Vulvodynia  and First Fragment‘s upcoming Gloire Eternelle are sure to be in the mix as well).

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 26th, 2021

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