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For 1993, this is quite cogent. - 80%

hells_unicorn, August 27th, 2012

If my own displeasure at the capricious shifts in trends of metal music strike anyone as odd given the liberation of music via the seemingly endless access of the internet, it exists insofar as my own memories of a time where such a medium did not exist and access was limited by the barriers to entry set up both in recording and distribution. In a sense, the casting aside of the classic thrash metal genre in favor of something less intricate and challenging is the epitome of this former dilemma, and a number of up and coming bands were denied access to potential fans for the crime of hitting the scene just a few years too late. It is in this sense that Cogency, a band bearing a name defined as being persuasive or convincing, found itself without a real opportunity to live up to its name and show the next incoming generation that this brand of music was still worth hearing.

This band’s lone studio offering stands as a sort of final testament to Germany’s somewhat more resilient thrash metal scene given it’s late entry into the metal world (by 1993, this style was D.O.A. in America). But interestingly enough, this album is more closely tied to the Bay Area sound than it is the darker, black and death metal leaning adherents of the Teutonic scene that were taking Slayer’s extreme style a step further. A handful of looming, creepy ballad sections reminiscent of both Testament’s “The New Order” and Metallica’s “…And Justice For All” are dispersed over a very elaborate mixture of heavy ended riff work reminiscent of Vio-Lence and Exodus circa 1988-89 and also a helping of speed metal and melodic hooks more in line with the mid 80s German sound and a few catchier acts like Heathen and Death Angel.

Interestingly enough, the only place where this band finds itself nestled in typical German extreme thrash territory is the guttural barks of Markus Draeger, who comes off closer to something out of early Chuck Schuldiner’s signature sound with maybe a slight hardcore affect similar to early 90s Napalm Death. It creates a particularly odd yet enticing sense of friction between a pretty traditional sounding set of beats and riffs, comparable in some respects to “I Hate, Therefore I Am” in that it seems to be giving a nod to a more popular style (death metal in this case, as opposed to grunge). While on more mid-paced gallopers like “Escape” this is a fitting approach with definite similarities to some contemporary work out of Testament, on high speed blazers like “Biomechanoid” where the speed metal elements are really blatant, the vocals almost seem like they’re just there to get the lyrics in rather than attempt to drive the songs to much of an extent.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t quite a massive masterpiece in defiance of upcoming changes the way “Horrorscope” and “Victims Of Deception” are, but it is definitely cut from a solid grain that incorporates a lot of similar elements. It has been relegated to obscurity primarily because of the lack of initial promotion that tends to come with an album that is trying to propagate a sound considered by many to be antiquated, but any self-respecting head banger with a soft spot for the early 90s swansongs of the style should give this a listen if they come across it.

Where are they now, the thrash edition - 60%

autothrall, February 11th, 2011

Cogency was another German band experimenting with the law of averages, writing an uninspired but competent thrash album well past its due. In fact, the more The Cogency Revenge wears its 80s stripes proudly, the better the album seems to grow, but there is too little among the 48 minutes here to warrant much beyond a curiosity to any of those so loyally adherent to the genre that they're willing to pardon mediocrity for sincerity. Dark, pumping thrash metal with brute lyrics is the band's forte, and though the tones of the guitar are very crunchy and lo-fi (similar to another unknown, Despised), I actually find the production pretty strong, summoning up nostalgia for a simpler time in the style.

Cogency also use a lot of variation in their writing process, which helps balance the angry, blunt centrism of its thrash aesthetics with elements of melody and attempts at quality leads. It's like a mix of old Metallica, Sodom and other acts that wrote amazing songs, only...more rough about the corners. The vocals are like an abysmally hairy yeti stalking its kills, but after a spell I've rather gotten used to them, and the speed/thrash surges in tracks like "Escape" and the writhing "Biomechanoid" are at least worth whipping up a circle pit and slamming one another into the next world. There is a subtle component of groove used on the album, but more like you'd have found in the 80s than the burgeoning nu-metal scene of the next decade. It's interesting to hear a band like this balance their gentle side with brutality, as in "Under Influence" or "The Face", and it adds an undercurrent of replayability to what is otherwise a pretty standard effort.

The Cogency Revenge isn't half bad, but it doesn't have the cloying riffs and charming chorus sequences to ride in the vanguard of its brethren from the prior decade. Taken out of its place in obscurity, and tucked neatly into 1987-88, it might have had the potential for more attention that could have expanded its legacy. As it stood, it wound up a footnote for the band Anger, which produced some demos with a more traditional heavy/speed metal sound. That said, if you are mining for more meaty thrash in the vein of Think of Misery, Wicca, or Despised, you ought to give this at least a listen, if nothing more.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com