Cognizance – Malignant Dominion (Prosthetic)

Monday, 9th September 2019
Rating: 8/10

After a large number of single track and EP releases over the past six years, England’s Cognizance is finally bringing forth their first full-length effort. The band has been championed by the underground scene for quite some time within the tech-death sector, so it’s no surprise that Malignant Dominion is also their first label-backed effort. As such, it also sees the band adding more to the music, while keeping everyone well aware of their roots.

In comparison to some of the band’s earlier EPs, Malignant Dominion comes across as a bit more balanced in tone. Not a knock in the least, as with a full-length, even at the nearly 30-minute mark, it’s not usually feasible to have a band simply blasting away at any given second. So the tracks here have more atmosphere that they’ve been soaked in to round out their blistering, tech-fueled assaults. There’s no clearer point on the album of the band’s evolution than the title track. While it can furiously blast away at any moment and douse the listener in intricate riffing and melodies, there’s also a more tampered side to the band, with flowing atmosphere and even a few floaty clean vocals to really bring the point home. Not to cause any panic to long-time listeners of the band, as the melodic sensibilities blend their way in without causing much damage to the brutality the band can display. Instead, some breaks along the way allow the heaviness to hit that much harder, and Cognizance doesn’t really come off as a ‘technical for technicality’s sense’ type of band – instead weaving it in to give the listener something to dissect while they barrel through a track like “Unforeseen Consequences.”

Some may call it a maturation of sorts, but Cognizance add more to their palette in an enjoyable way with Malignant Dominion. There’s a greater element of control without making it mundane, and they still can pound the listener into the pavement with ease.

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