Cronos Compulsion drop grim mix of death, doom on crushing debut EP ‘Malicious Regression’

Photo by Julius Garrido

Following a band from its roots allows the chance to be there from the ground level as the sound develops. Inevitably, things will change and grow as the band gets more experience together as players and as humans, which is part of the fun because it kind of feels like you’re along for the ride. People will drop off along the way, new people will enter, but you’ve been there from the start, haven’t you?

If you’re looking for that kind of thing, hitching your wagon to Denver death/doom trio Cronos Compulsion would be a pretty good idea. On this five-track first EP (they have two demos and contributed to a split release before this) “Malicious Regression,” they encircle you in lightning-rich storm clouds, pounding down with a ferocity and force that’s nearly impossible to defend against. The band—vocalist/guitarist Wil Wilson, bassist/vocalist Addison Herron-Wheeler, drummer/synth player Jon Linskey—already sounds like a unit more seasoned than their two years together, and this EP should generate excitement with anyone who comes within its reach of where this group could go next. The possibilities are morbid.

“Secher” strikes as an initial aural assault to stretch your mind grapes, letting pressure build and static spit, and then it’s on to “Sacred Butchery” that busts open and angles for your psyche. The growls pummel as the playing sludges, going violent and thrashy, delivering blows to an abrupt end. The title cut is a total assault with the growls crushing, leads stabbing, and an evil aura growing more intense, guitar squeals pulling back flesh. The playing gets chunkier as infernal howls let loose, bringing sinewy destruction that mauls and splatters. “Morbid Subconscious Explorations” brings scarring guitars and a calculated pace before the piledriving assault takes over, the growls marring your senses. The drums decimate as the ugliness multiplies, chaos explodes, and the pace slows but remains insanely heavy, smoking to the finish. Closer “Consumed by Malignant Spirit” is eerie and ominous, the guitars storming as raw growls boil in blood. Everything spirals as the gears turn with maniacal ease, growing hypnotic at points, the brutal growls clobbering, the final moments choking you in ash.

Cronos Compulsion may have a small footprint so far in the metal annals, but “Malicious Regression” is a massive blast, an impressive first EP that brims with promise and monstrous violence. Over five songs, this trio goes for broke, pouring as much vitriol as possible into this effort, making it certain they are deadly serious and willing to claim victims. This should be the start of a devastating run for a band that sounds on the cusp of doing something massive.

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