New Jersey’s Cognitive have been serving up technical and brutal death metal for a decade now. Their latest album, Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction, is due out next month and features a new lineup. In anticipation of the new release, Decibel caught up with the band to talk touring, coronavirus and frequent lineup changes alongside a premiere of the album’s second single, “To Feed the Worms.”
The new song gives listeners a little bit of everything expected from a new Cognitive album: finger-stretching riffs, mega-downtuned slams, melodic guitar solos and guttural vocals. Paired with a high-quality performance video, it’s obvious that Cognitive mean business this go ’round.
Watch the new video for “To Feed the Worms” below and keep scrolling for an interview with vocalist Shane Jost. Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction is out July 16 on Unique Leader.
This is the fourth Cognitive album in seven years. How do you think that your style or approach has changed on Malevolent Thoughts?
Like many other albums that are being released this year, we wrote this album in quarantine. I think that allowed us to laser focus on songwriting. These songs feel a lot more cohesive than our previous albums to me. They’re more than a collection of cool riffs this time around and I love that. I genuinely feel that Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction is the definitive Cognitive record.
Bassist Tyler Capone-Vitale and drummer AJ Viana are new members since your last album, Matricide, came out. Did the new members change anything about your approach to writing music?
Wow. It’s so crazy to think of AJ and Tyler as the new guys. They’ve been family for years now. Both of these dudes are grade A musicians and even better friends. AJ recorded and mixed our previous record as well as Malevolent Thoughts, so we already had a healthy work dynamic. When the slot opened up for a new drummer, AJ really was the only guy for the job. The pieces just fell perfectly into place. Tyler is one of the tightest bassists I’ve ever seen in my life. Every single note he plays is done with precision, passion, and power. Watch a live video. This man beats his bass into submission every night and it sounds amazing. Tyler even helped me with lyrics on the new record. He wrote “The Maw” and it’s one of my favorite songs. I couldn’t ask for a better crew to write an album with.
Cognitive is a super hard touring band but you’ve been kept off the road for over a year now. Did that make it easier or harder to put together a new album?
It’s a bit of both. I had a lot of writer’s block being locked inside for the year, but we had way more time to focus on the album. I personally prefer to write together in the same room as everyone else, but we adapted to the restrictions of quarantine and came up with something absolutely crushing. I think I can speak for us all when I say that I can’t wait to get back out on the road though.
What are your plans for the coming weeks and months? Will Cognitive tour the new record in a few months when that kind of thing resumes nationwide?
I think you know the answer to that. Cognitive lives and breaths for the road. We will be back to sleeping in parking lots and making obnoxious noise in a venue near you very soon. Count on it!