Cognitive Dissonance


Metal and rock are built on the idea of finding that elusive cool riff that […]
By Mark Machlay
February 2, 2021
Kaupe - Cognitive Dissonance album cover

Metal and rock are built on the idea of finding that elusive cool riff that can drive a song and keeps heads banging along for years after an album releases. Florida-based instrumental progressive metal group KAUPE have managed to tap into that riff zeitgeist that can bury deep into just about any cynical metalhead's heart. It doesn't hurt that their progressive influences seemingly span decades from the enigmatic FAITH NO MORE, MESHUGGAH and TOOL to more straight ahead rock and metal groups like QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, RADIOHEAD, and NAILS. Formed in 2016, two bandmates that had not played together in 14 years, guitarist Brett Walker and drummer Marc Larabel decided to reignite their creative spark. After a year of writing material and searching for like-minded musicians, they found bass player Pete Medrano, who was coincidentally looking for members for a band of his own. Finding a singer that fit proved difficult so they switched gears, started looking for a keyboardist instead and recruited Patrick Ross from a craigslist ad. Their first foray into their new dark, atmospheric, fully instrumental venture came with 2018's full-length "The Depths". The success of that album got them bigger audiences opening for such bands as ANDREW W.K. and VIRGIL DONATI.

That success then funded their follow-up effort, "Cognitive Dissonance" releasing February 19th 2021. Muscular like a PERIPHERY but just as progressive as ANIMALS AS LEADERS the band have seemingly put forward their strongest effort yet, surpassing even their prodigious debut. The sound bounces and crashes through a kaleidoscope of sonic landscapes from beginning to end. The band proclaims that their new record, "takes you on an interstellar journey. As your mind takes off from planet to planet, you encounter birth, life, death, resurrection, hope and ride big emotions in-between. Is this set to a video game? A Film? Anime? You choose. It's your journey." That sure paints a very cinematic picture and it's quite apt for the experience they deliver. What is definitely clear is that the band are really in their element, playing with time, meter, sounds and going all over an instrumental spectrum in the rock and metal genre. "Death Rattle" starts off deceptively sounding like any early 90s era, grunge-ish song but with a more grandiose instrumental twist.

But as the album gets going, KAUPE prove they have so much more to offer. Title track "Cognitive Dissonance" sounds so much like DREAM THEATER's "Panic Attack" I have to assume there is some kind of meta-commentary going on. On the same album DREAM THEATER had a song that sounded so much like a MUSE rip-off that the band ceased revealing their "Inspiration Corner" of albums they listened to while writing. But I feel it more as a strong homage and I grew a great respect for their instrumental prowess. To add to the cinematic quality is "Cooper's Dream" acting as this otherworldly interlude inspired by the delightfully eccentric David Lynch created television show "Twin Peaks". "Simpatico" acts like a hi-speed chase through higher space between planets into the slow and groovy "Head in a Bag" providing such herky-jerky changes that are masterfully pulled off while a lesser band might stumble in the transition. "Cop Caller" brings me back to the 80s sounding both like the soundtrack to a video game and a new MARS VOLTA track. Every track is a new discovery and I could go on and on describing the breakneck speed at which they travel through the interstellar cosmos or you could do yourself a favor and check it out for yourself. With each song, they find new interesting riffs and melodies that delight and excite my ears.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








When clicked, this video is loaded from YouTube servers. See our privacy policy for details.
"Cognitive Dissonance" Track-listing:

1. Death Rattle
2. Cognitive Dissonance
3. Luck of the Unlucky
4. Cooper's Dream
5. Simpatico
6. Head in a Bag
7. Cop Caller
8. Deuces
9. Transitioning
10. Gunslinger
11. Capsized

Kaupe Lineup:

Marc Larabel - Drums
Brett Walker - Guitar
Pete Medrano - Bass
Patrick Ross - Keyboards

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram