Album Review: Cognizance – Phantazein

Album Review: Cognizance - Phantazein
Reviewed by Daniel Phipps

“In a style of death metal that has a tendency to be all flesh with little substance to back it up, Cognizance proves that by bringing together a collection of tracks that are as well engineered and crafted listeners will come back again and again.” This was my closing words in relation to Cognizance’s 2021 album Upheaval which was my first submission to The Razors Edge so I felt it only fitting to pick up the band's newest effort Phantazein, which has seen the West Yorkshire band join an ever growing list of UK bands on Willowtip Records.

Phantazein continues the band's approach to creating slick, solid technical death metal with a thick sound and really solid songwriting. What I found one of the biggest changes with Cognizance writing on this record is how they have really improved the use of melody within the tracks. The use of the melody adds a more haunting sound to the record and opposed to making the tracks softer, the melodies really help the records more vicious sound and approach really give a kick and up’s the intensity when Cognizance offer the heavier part of the record.

Album Review: Cognizance - Phantazein

The melodies also give the record a bit more of a blackened death metal sound in places, it's only subtle so don't expect any Immolation vibes but it definitely gives a bit more variety during parts of the songs. The production is really solid on this release and the mix is extremely fair, meaning that you really hear all the instruments fully, from the crunch of the guitars, the bounce of the bass and power of the drums.

Phantazein is a really cool record, which contains a really great knowledge of the requirements needed to craft technical death metal which can keep the listeners attention. More than that it is a record that will interest people who may not want to have their faces melted off for 40 straight minutes but it does this without sacrificing its musical integrity. Cognizance have done a really great job in expanding on their sound and creating another stellar collection of death metal tracks.

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