Hailing from Leeds, United Kingdom, Cognizance is a five-piece Death Metal outfit formed in 2012. After three early EPs, they have released three full-length albums with Phantazein being the third in five years. This latest offering is a concept album exploring the intricate interplay between art, obsession, and the profound influence of one’s environment. More than just straightforward Death Metal, there is also a highly Technical Metal aspect to their approach in both composition and execution of the music. Intricate leads mix with bombastic rhythms and harsh vocals to build a massive soundscape meant to capture the ear and the mind simultaneously.


Band Members:

  • Henry Pryce – Vocals
  • Alex Baillie – Guitar/Vocals
  • Apostolis Karydis – Guitar
  • Chris Binns – Bass
  • David Diepold – Drums

Release Date:

January 26, 2024 – Willowtip Records



  1. Ceremonial Vigour
  2. A Brain Dead Memoir
  3. Chiselled In Stone
  4. Introspection
  5. Futureless Horizon
  6. The Towering Monument
  7. Alferov
  8. Shock Heuristics
  9. Broadcast Of The Gods
  10. In Versus Unspoken
  11. Shadowgraph

“Ceremonial Vigour” opens with a Melodic segment before crashing into the Technical Death Metal deep end of the pool. Some of the first things you will notice with the music are the incredible blast beat skills and intricate lead guitar work that weaves around and through the rhythm before any solo takes place. The vocals are harsh and stay in the lower end of Henry’s register. There is some layering and backing vocal work that does reach a bit higher in the register, but the lows are almost always out front.

A little over midway through the album, there is a brief respite known as “Alferov,” a one-minute interlude of haunting, ethereal noise that lets the brain do a short reset before getting back into the fray with “Shock Heuristics.” There are a few other short lulls in a couple of songs, but those are built into lyric songs, not as a stand-alone track. Take that time to catch a deep breath. You will need it for what comes next. The heaviness always comes back, ready to take you on another journey.

When you dig more into the lulls in the heavy music, you find more technical precision and killer attention to detail. The breaks are calculated and feel like they serve a similar purpose to some of the more prominent guitar leads; they add texture to the composition and drive more of the emotion within the song. The heavy use of lead-ins, coupled with the drops, breaks, and guitar leads showcase the ability of Cognizance to weave a soundscape that is both brutal and delicate, all while supporting the weight of the story being told by the lyrics. This is an album that is felt almost as much as it is heard.

MZ Ratings:


  •             Guitars – 9
  •             Rhythms – 9
  •             Vocals – 9
  • Songwriting – 9
  • Production – 9

Overall – 9.00