Let’s cut to the chase: Prepare for a brain-twisting, spine-fracturing experience. It’s not even really a chase; at some point you’re more likely to just stop running and stand there, gasping and gap-jawed, as this demon-eyed musical jack-rabbit with a rocket strapped to its back leaves you in the dust.
The band is Cognitive, their album is Matricide, Unique Leader will release it on October 26th, and “Fragmented Perception” is both the name of the song and a summing-up of where it will leave your own mentation.
This track genuinely is an electrifying barrage of sound, a thrill-ride of highly unstable tempos and rhythms and wild guitar extravaganzas, though the general through-line is faster than you’ll ever move unless you’re being chased by someone with a knife (and you’d probably be cut open because you’re not moving this fast).
Brutal, atonal, jackhammering grooves matched with bursts of machine-gun drumming set this thing alight. It sounds like deathcore at first, but rushes off in different directions. Eerie, fluid, yet freakish, the squirming and chiming guitar leads pull you off the course you might think you were on, and then the drums really cut loose in a blinding fusillade of automatic-weapon fire, and the guitars turn to a frenzy of swarming, skittering, darting noise (with some stop-start dynamics in the mix).
There’s nothing in the nature of a straight-arrow progression in the music, and so the band veer toward a rapid, destabilizing, back-and-forth blend of jackhammering and buzzing, augmented by a prominent bass pulse. There’s a follow-on drum rhythm that’s much less frenetic, and a honey-smooth guitar solo that sounds both soulful and numinous, backed by bursts of rapid-fire bass.
Meanwhile, the vocals are themselves in flux from start to finish — a boxer’s bursts of cruel, carnivorous growls, excruciating shrieks, and lunatic yells. It would be a disappointment if the vocals were all the same thing throughout this instrumental cavalcade of fast-twitch exuberance. They’re not, and that’s just fine.
Guitarist Rob Wharton tells us this about the album as a whole (and when you listen to the album, you’ll realize this isn’t an exaggeration):
“The band really took a lot of time with making sure this album was different than our last album Deformity. We were extremely happy with the way that album was received, but wanted to try and offer something different this time around. This album pushed all of us on our instruments, but while being hard to play, we wanted to make sure the songs were fun and catchy.
“We incorporated a ton of new things into this album, while still making sure it sounded like us. We wanted to be more in your face, while still having some abstract passages in the songs. A lot went into this album and we think it’s our best material yet, and we’re very excited for everyone to hear it.”
About this particular song, he says it shows “a lot of different aspects of our band all in one song, and I can’t believe we got it all put together the way we did and keep it flowing”. Just listening to it, I’m having trouble believing it too.
And here’s vocalist Shane Jost‘s thoughts about the track:
“I wrote the lyrics to ‘Fragmented Perception‘ while I was having a panic about my job. I’m a low-ranking worker at a popular chain of super centers and I hate working there. Just the thought of punching that time clock day in and day out fills me with dread. I think a lot of low-wage workers feel this way.
“One night I was just laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, sick with anxiety about having to go do the same mind-numbing task again tomorrow and every day for the foreseeable future, and it all finally boiled over. I wrote down exactly what was going on in my head and now we have this song”.
So those words might give you a different perception of the music than you experienced without them — or they might capture exactly what you felt without having read them. That’s the great attraction of emotionally potent music: What you experience is a blend of what you hear and the life experience that your own mind brings along for the ride.
Matricide was recorded by AJ Viana at Sylar Sound Studios, and it was mixed and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music. The transfixing cover art was made by Pedro Sena (Ingested, Analepsy).
2. Architect of Misery
4. False Profit
5. With Reckless Abandon
6. Clouds of Rust
7. Fragmented Perception
8. Vessel of Violence
9. Torn From The Void