By Thor

Texas speed freaks COGNIZANT have had their debut self-titled album from 2016 reissued this past November in a nice package that’s widely available and you’re about to read my review of it!

So these guys blast the flesh off your bones and before you know it, the album’s over and you’re dead. It’s an onslaught of grinding drums and tremolo-picked guitar madness delivering relentless guttural vocals. There’s no reprieve. Once you strap in, there’s nothing left to do but clench your teeth and hold on…

I’m of two minds on this album and , I guess, the band responsible for it. At its core, COGNIZANT is a collective of grindcore musicians masquerading as a tech-death band. And I LOVE grind! In fact, COGNIZANT’s drummer Bryan Fajardo is one of my very favorite sticksmen of the last decade-plus. The dude is fast! All these guys can play fast!

In a grindcore format, one that includes songs that last less than a minute and are a little under-polished, these violent aural assaults work well. But when this fury is presented in a more metallic package with slightly longer songs and a cleaner, less dynamic production style, this level of nonstop aggressive speed get a little monotonous and the listening experience a bit exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong. The album is both dangerous and awe-inspiring as are the musicians who made it.  My criticisms come down to the fine elements of personal taste and I prefer death metal that has a fair bit of slam and groove. As a grind album, though, “Cognizant” delivers the goods, if in a decidedly metal package. Fans of bands as different as ROTTEN SOUND and BRODEQUIN will dig it.