Cognizance – Illusory (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 31st August 2016
Rating: 8/10

Blooming UK tech death band Cognizance has managed to make a name for themselves with only delivering a few EPs and a demo to date. The band’s latest EP, Illusory, is bound to continue the band’s upward trajectory and sees the band significantly stepping up their game in a number of regards. Listenable tech-death that keeps it memorable.

Keeping things intricate and brutal have allowed Cognizance to win over plenty of support to date, but the band seems set on setting their sights higher. The biggest difference to the band’s previous material here is the use of more progressive elements. Opener “Visceral Doubt” sneakily changes from your standard “atmospheric intro” to a full-blown death metal monster at the drop of a dime and introduces some of these changes. An increased shred ratio is developed with Justin McKinney (The Faceless) and Christian Donaldson (Cryptopsy, who also did the mix/mastering) dropping in for guest appearances on the EP’s final two tracks, in addition to some zingers the band provides (see “Choking on the Sands”). Donaldson’s track, “Secondary Volition,” is a rather calm melodic number, giving the listener a chance to relax before “Spectrum” sees the band at their usual full throttle extremity.

Brevity is key to Illusory’s success in some regards. The band can go full-tilt on their music and it never becomes an issue due to the 16-minute runtime. The championed phrase “all killer no filler” is certainly something that comes to mind. But regardless of length, Cognizance’s efforts to maintain their frantic and brutal tech wizardry with some more progressive notes give them an even sharper edge. The tech sector will be raving about this one.

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