Cognition - Procession of ThoughtsWhen I was saddled with West Virginia natives Cognition’s sophomore LP Procession of Thoughts, it was with the impression that I would be receiving a prog album to review. Neither I, nor the powers that be, had any indication that this was not the case. Every piece of promotional material released by the band comes with a “progressive metal” descriptor and a giant eye, one of the genre’s many stalwart symbols, graces an awkwardly framed cover which absolutely screams prog. Despite all meters pointing straight to wankery, it took me less than a minute to realize that I had been duped. Cognition is certainly not a progressive metal band. To lend the band’s false advertising a shred of credit, I’ll allow the last line of their Facebook biography to speak on my behalf: “It’s pretty scary to think Cognition are only just beginning.”

The most metal thing about Procession of Thoughts is the street light you’ll instinctively veer into at high speed if you’re unfortunate enough to be driving the first time you listen to it. Call me ignorant towards what passes as progressive music with kids these days, but tossing single-note djent breakdowns into a proverbial dumpster fire of atrocious metalcore and post-hardcore elements isn’t really what I had in mind when I picked this thing up. From the writing and performances to the production, Procession of Thoughts is a train wreck of a record even by metalcore standards. Aside from admitting that they have a pretty good drummer in their repertoire, the only positivity I can muster towards Cognition is that if you’re unfortunate enough to own a physical copy of this album, you might be able to fool your friends into believing it’s a prog record if they embarrassingly find it hidden underneath your collection of unicorn porn.

Look, I’ll readily admit to spinning Horse the Band on a semi-regular basis, and I’ll even concede that Avenged Sevenfold managed one good album. As a guy who’s not afraid to occasionally dip into metalcore schlock, I’m extremely confident in proclaiming that every single riff and melody put forth on Procession of Thoughts is utterly banal. It’s not for lack of variety, though; the band attempts to emulate the faux-machismo of A Day to Remember (“Desolation”) and the noodling guitar lines of The Fall of Troy (the predictably unsexy “Eyes Wide Shut”) and even takes a shot at Korn‘s nu-metal groove (“Limitless”), but Cognition is totally devoid of the energy and personality that made those bands even semi-listenable. At less than forty minutes, this somehow manages to feel like an epic slog.

Cognition 2016

The abysmal performances and artificial production will completely deter you if the characterless songwriting wasn’t enough. Guitars occasionally fall out of sync with the rest of the band (“We don’t use metronomes,” their bio proudly states) and the muddy, stock-distortion-setting-on-my-first-amp tone lacks any semblance of shape in the lower registers. The drums are so artificially clicky that I initially believed they were programmed, and on certain tracks they’re placed obnoxiously high in the mix without rhyme or fucking reason. And then there’s vocalist Calvin Wilson. His growls are mediocre, his shrieks are bad, and his cleans make me want to down all the bleach in the world. His wailing is worse than any whiney emo and post-hardcore vocalist I’ve ever heard, and he can’t carry a note for more than half a second without falling out of tune. Listening to this guy attempt to sing makes me hyper aware of my own finite existence, as I’d rather spend it doing literally anything else.

As music critics we possess an understanding that the greatest records consistently reward the listener with new discoveries over repeated listens. With Procession of Thoughts, Cognition has taught me that the same is true for bad records; just when I think it can’t get worse, I discover a new area where the guitars rush ahead of the tempo, or five seconds of horrendous white-boy rap that Calvin Wilson thought he could sneak in while you were still stunned from an equally terrible chorus. Cognition would easily qualify for 0.0 territory if it weren’t for Evan Michael’s solid and occasionally technical drumming which carries this corpse of an album, but alas, Procession of Thoughts narrowly misses the chance to live in infamy alongside Tetragrammacide and Project Theory. As Cognition is doomed to be forgotten, infamy might have been preferable.

Rating: 0.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Overman Productions
Releases Worldwide: November 11th, 2016

  • herrschobel

    whut? i wasn’t sure for a second what i am listening to. this sounds so terrible. from mix to songwriting. i wonder how this went down after the recording session….someone should have told them ‘uhhmmm boys listen…you cannot ..i repeat CANNOT (!!!!) release this !!!’

    “Listening to this guy attempt to sing makes me hyper aware of my own finite existence” classic !

    • Dethjesta

      It is awful. I feel sorry for the reviewer having to listen to this, perhaps more than once.

      After listening to the embedded track, I was shocked to learn that it was only 4:22. It felt like an eternity.

    • Reese Burns

      When writing this, did anyone ever stop to think “if this wasn’t our record, would we listen to it?” Because if they had, we all would have been spared a lot of pain.

  • Dethjesta

    It kinda felt wrong to click the ‘Unicorn Porn’ link…… just never know what it might link to…… this is the internet after all.

    Still, I know full well everyone else will click the link……. you can’t not click it, right?

    • That was a test. 2 week site ban!

      • Dethjesta

        Two weeks???

        I guess I’ll have to live with it, at least I won’t miss record o’ the month for October.

        • herrschobel

          muahahahaha….good one !

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          You can spend those two weeks browsing the Unicorn Porn link, anyway.

        • Grymm

          What’s that sizzling noise?

          Damn, man.

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      i was like “should i click on it? i fear what it might appear” but then LOL i was expecting something explicit

  • Grymm

    “Duder, check out my sweet-ass 8-string guitar! The range and action on this thing is unreal!”

    *chugs on the open low-F# string like it’s a 30-pack brick of PBR*

  • I almost feel bad for assigning this to you.

    • GardensTale

      Report to HR for de-sympathization!

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Where is my company appointed safe space, Steel? I’ve earned it!

      • In the parking lot next to the port-o-lav.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra
  • AndySynn

    I often wonder whether bands like this actually KNOW they’re misrepresenting themselves when they call their music “progressive”, or if they’re really that clueless and lacking in self-awareness.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Theory: one guy in the band is actually a fan of progressive metal and there were no good musicians in the area who wanted (or were capable) of playing the same music he wanted to. He also got stuck with writing the band’s bio and was too embarrassed to write “metalcore”.

      • Reese Burns

        That line about A7X having only one good album cut deep, brother. All kidding aside though, you have my condolences for being assigned this.

  • GardensTale

    The label’s name is appropriate. When is it over, man?!

    Honestly, decent drummer or not, this would absolutely have gotten my 0.0, no hyperbole. The vocals alone sound like one of those guys they show at America’s Got Talent when they want to all together laugh at the fucking retard who thought he could sing. This makes Starkill sound like fucking geniuses. Holy shit.

  • SegaGenitals

    Wow, 0.5. I almost want to give it a listen to see how bad it is.

    • GardensTale

      Oh please do. It will forever lower your standards so there will be more music you can enjoy.

      • Eldritch Elitist

        If you REEEEEALLY want it, a site recently hosted the entire album for streaming, and I have the link…

        • herrschobel

          this reminds me of a Monty Python bit with the deadly joke…you should be verrrrry careful with that link !

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      jeez what a masochist, i almost quit the song 2 minutes in

  • Oh sweet Jesus, this is bad, shouldn’t have listened :( Now I have to listen to some soft and beautiful metal to cleanse my ears. The review was really fun though.

  • VulgarDisplayOfRandy

    It’s 2am in Australia and I thought ‘I might check AMG’
    Fuck I wish I didn’t.

    • Nothing good ever happens after 1 AM.

      • VulgarDisplayOfRandy

        I am drinking beer though so maybe nothing great happens after 1 AM

  • metalcasket

    *clicks embedded song thinking “How bad could it be?”*

    Anyone want a pair of ears? These things are useless now.

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      i tought exactly the same in only the first 40 seconds

  • Bats

    “A train wreck of a record even by metalcore standards”

    I need to frame it. -core is just another word for shit

  • Ferrous Beuller

    This is about as progressive as my kneecap. I think my Fates Warning records just burst into flames…

  • Nag Dammit

    Holy shit! Embedded track solo is so freaking dreadful. It’s like Eddie Van Halen has had all his fingers chopped off and is tapping his strings with frankfurters that have been strapped to the bloody stumps.

    • Martin Knap

      LOL dude, worst song ever

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Tracey Wilson, the lone commenter on the embedded track video, had this to say:
    “Rock on Cal! I am so proud of you!!!”

    No surprises this is sitting on an 0.5/5.0 then lmao

  • Pulsating Steel

    For the love of Dog, this is awful.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      hey don’t bring Dog into this

  • WhamBamSam

    This actually grates on my nerves worse than the embedded track for Project Theory did. You weren’t kidding about the vocalist. I can’t remember the last time I heard one so bad.

    • herrschobel

      ahhh….you actually remember that abomination of a Band ! Respect. but you are right. this is even worse.

    • Grymm

      That dude from Coven 13 now has competition.

  • Reaper

    Tetragrammacide, not Tetragramaton.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Oops. Thanks for the heads up, we’ll get it fixed.

  • Marc Rikmenspoel

    It sort of works as a “wall of noise.” In these jaded times, it’s harder than ever to find music that will piss off your parents. Cognition has what it takes! Anyway, back to Sojourner for me.

    • Reese Burns

      I was hoping that others around here were into Sojourner. One of my favourite new bands

      • Marc Rikmenspoel

        You know, Scotland and West Virginia both have some pleasant scenery. But it’s as if Sojurner were inspired by the Highlands, while this album took its inspiration from a Charleston meth lab.

  • Grymm

    I don’t think I can ever replicate the face my cat made at the dual-vocal, *ahem*, “harmony” at 1:43 of the embedded track…

  • The Nerd.

    Avenged Sevenfold has 5 out of 7 good albums…. But this sounds awful

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    So, you awarded them half a point as a way of punishmnet? Now they won’t even have the notoriety of having earned a zero!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    This actually sounds like two completely different yet completely AWFUL songs playing together at once.

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    Wow this is terrible. It sounds like the band people would be in before their terrible high school garage band.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Hey, the new Avenged Sevenfold album is actually pretty decent. About 10000000000000000x better than this!

    • Eldritch Elitist

      It is their best since City of Evil, which is the album I was referencing.

      • The Nerd.


      • Oscar Albretsen

        Yeah, that’s what I figured. Never been my favorite band, but have been liking the new album – gets better with more listens, whereas the old ones just tended to get kinda dull.

  • sir_c

    Well, if you’re having a party and you think time has come for your visitors to leave… flip on the fluorescent lights and put on this record.

    I’m pretty sure your guests will also skip your next year’s birthday. And the next.

  • Scourge

    I figured out where the prog tag is coming from. It gets progressively worse as you listen to it.

  • brklyner

    Bros, I know it feels like your music career is on a rocket-like trajectory, but don’t quit your day jobs at Planet Fitness yet.

  • Patrik Albrecht

    This was so atrocious it got me to finally post something here after lurking in the shadows for a couple of years. Holy hell! This must be the worst thing i have ever heard. And these ears have been subjected to a lot of crap.

  • Just chiming in to say that I enjoyed the review/takedown and also that the vocalist at times sounds straight up like Quizno’s old mascot the Spongemonkey from a decade ago.

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    the video preview literally hurts my ears, wtf is up with that production? the performances but the drums sounds weird too, like everybody is playing something different0, lol good review, reviews of bad stuff are always hilarious

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    boy that song is A MESS

  • Requiem

    When something coming out of my excellent harman/kardon speakers sounds like it’s coming out of a mobile phone speaker and rivals the shitty production in FGA’s infamous Labyrinth, you *know* you’re in for a hell of a ride. There isn’t an element of this that isn’t totally and utterly embarrassing aside from the drumming, which is still mediocre. Jesus wept, what an affront to the senses.