A massive blow of energy is unleashed by this quintet that dares to mix Melodic/Technical Death Metal with touches of Deathcore.
February 17, 2024

No one could think that Melodic Death Metal would arise in a moment of the 90s, but it was just a matter of time of one thinking about mixing the brutality of Death Metal with careful melodies. And everyone knows that the ‘Gothenburg Death Metal’ scene is important to it due the pioneering works of AT THE GATES with “Slaughter of the Soul”, DARK TRANQUILLITY with “The Gallery” and IN FLAMES with “The Jester Race”. Obviously that evolution took its toll and many was done into the genre, and many different subgenres arose from Melodic Death Metal in the beginning of the 2000. And “Phantazein”, the new album of the United Kingdom quintet COGNIZANCE is here to show one head of the hydra called Melodic Death Metal.

Alex Baillie and Apostolis Karydis (both guitarists of the quintet) are the producers of the album, leaving the mix and mastering to the hands of Ronnie Björnström (the same one who previously worked with 220 VOLT, KROW, NIGHTRAGE, BLOOD RED THRONE and others). All to give the band a sonority that seems to recall some elements of the 90s for Melodic Death Metal, being brutal, aggressive and defined, but always with a modern aesthetical sense (to keep things understandable to the hearers). And the cover of Daniel P. Carter is a fine piece of art, with some elements that resembles the work of Larry Carrol.

Musically, this English quintet unleashes a violent and technical work on Melodic Death Metal, as a furious maelstrom of chaos and brutality, but tempered by charming melodic arrangements and some introspective moments (as heard on “Chiselled in Stone” and on the beginning of “Futureless Horizon”), some modern groove in some moments, and even Progressive Death Metal elements can be heard on the mix. It’s furious and intense, but hooking and hard to resist, and some touches of Deathcore influences can be here and there. It’s like they’re following the way of the 90s into the genre, but with a tremendous amount of energy, and it’s great to hear to such form of music.

Well, as the main idea of a review is to show the best moments of an album to offer the fans a guideline, isn’t it? Then you can start by “Ceremonial Vigour” (a brutal and aggressive song with charming melodic temper given by the guitar leads and arrangements, and with a sense of groove in some moments), “A Brain Dead Memoir” (fine contrasts between the rhythms, showing a very good technical appeal on bass guitar and drums playing), “Chiselled in Stone” and “Futureless Horizon” (again some bonebreakling tempos can be heard on these ones, tempered by technical introspective moments), “Shock Heuristics” (the technical contrasts on the instrumental are excellent, allowing the low grunts of the vocals to fit perfectly), “In Verses Unspoken” (some abrasive modern elements appears on this one), and “Shadowgraph”, but the entire album is very good to be heard.

As a third album, “Phantazein” depicts a mature band that knows what they’re doing, so give yourself a chance and pay attention to COGNIZANCE’s music.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Phantazein" Track-listing:
  1. Ceremonial Vigour
  2. A Brain Dead Memoir
  3. Chiselled in Stone
  4. Introspection
  5. Futureless Horizon
  6. The Towering Monument
  7. Alferov
  8. Shock Heuristics
  9. Broadcast of the Gods
  10. In Verses Unspoken
  11. Shadowgraph
Cognizance Lineup:

Henry Pryce - Vocals
Apostolis Karydis - Guitars
Alex Baillie - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Chris Binns - Bass
David Diepold - Drums

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