posted on 3/2007 By:
1. deviating from or inconsistent with the common order, form, or rule; irregular; abnormal:
2. not fitting into a common or familiar type, classification, or pattern; unusual:
3. incongruous or inconsistent.
If you look at the three definitions of the word Anomalous above, and then use those definitions to describe San Francisco’s technical death metal outfit of the same name, all three sort of fit in describing this five song EP.
On one hand, the band’s style of technical death metal is a myriad of riffs, stuttering time changes, off kilter chord progressions, fine musicianship and the futuristic, almost cybernetic approach certainly fit the first and second definitions above. However, with some overly choppy, almost mathcore moments, programmed drums, some ill timed moments of clarity, undecided vocals and the expected un-digestibility of the genre’s stylings, Cognitive Dissonance also fit the third definition and thus only remains a promising effort from a promising band.
The opening title track and second track “Metastasize” parleys all of the good elements of the band, but also the bad. The sudden synth-flocked interludes and tangents distract from the stern, tight, Meshuggah, Fear Factory or even Nocturnus with a bad attitude technical riffage rather than add to the flow. “Merged” is the EP’s mid way cybernetic instrumental that allows a breather before the Cynic like “Subliminal Servitude”, and “Revelations”, two more tracks that mix finite, if clinical (partly due to the robotic drums) blasting complexity with sudden and almost derailing injections of cosmic synths. The vocals of Tim Hale could also use some work--is this chaotic tech core (mid range shouts) or death metal (deep growls)? I realize the genres have crossed already, but on this release the vocals just come across as a little more tangibly uncommited to either. Still, it's not really that too big of an issue for the casual listener, I'm just being a picky dick critic.
Still, in all a decent little EP from a band that with some fine tuning and a great drummer, might be on for better things with their next release, as the aptly titled Cognitive Dissonance shows some real promise lurking under the shiny exterior.
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