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Cog: Culling
Cog Culling new music review

Cog: Culling

Progressive Thrash Metal
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Making complexity your band's trademark is never an easy task, but Cog make it seem so. Blending thrash metal with post-hardcore and the various strands of rock's fringes (let's not forget the saxophone), Cog have quite the tall order to fill. Thankfully on this second album titled Culling they go about the task of battering our ears with much aplomb. On its opening salvo a soothing intro bathes the listener's senses with saccharine sweet notes until Promethean arrives in true rollicking thrash fashion. Ever the chameleon, the band skip from one tempo to another across this sprawling thirteen song opus, one moment they add Gothenburg death metal flourishes into This Means War then keep matters laid back and calm on the infectious Calliope.

As mentioned, let's not forget the saxophone. Cog are the only band this writer knows who so effortlessly weave a sax into their heavy music without having to Jazz things around. The saxophone here, played by the very capable Garon Honasan, adds an extra dimension to the band's often epic melodies and hey, it's beautiful to hear. Not just an afterthought for originality's sake, saxophone flavored offerings are in abundance throughout Culling and you can hear it by the third song Illumination right until the tempestuous bitter end From The Ashes.

On the production side of things Cog have gotten themselves the perfect kind of varnish to convey the album's menacing character. Then again, when the guitarist (one Eric Perlas) is also a seasoned producer, why should the listener expect sub par material? The dearth of clean vocals here keep the album away from extreme metal's clutches while the hoarse screams also sets it adrift in death metal waters. While melody is a crucial ingredient in Cog's repertoire, they thrash too often to make their more accessible parts stand out. Since its mind-boggling twists keep it from being a 'fairly balanced' album, Culling stomps around your CD player for an hour and then compels you to listen again. Even better, it's a prog release, full of subtlety and unexpected charm. If you're curious, prepare to give this Culling a few dozen spins before you really 'get it.'

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In Short

Since its mind-boggling twists keep it from being a 'fairly balanced' album, Culling stomps around your CD player for an hour and then compels you to listen again. If you're curious, prepare to give this Culling a few dozen spins before you really 'get it.'

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