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The Best New Music by Colorado Musicians Released in May

Denver doom-metal band Khemmis surprise-released two new songs in May.
Denver doom-metal band Khemmis surprise-released two new songs in May. Courtesy Khemmis
And just like that, May is almost over. Local acts continue to be busy with new music, especially in the underground metal scene this month, but there’s also some Americana and weirdo shoegaze to take your mind off the swift passage of time (and quirky weather). Keep reading for the best music released by Colorado musicians in May.
Cronos Compulsion
Malicious Regression
Denver trio Cronos Compulsion is one of the newer death-metal bands in town, having formed in 2021. But Jon Linksey (drummer and synths), Wil Wilson (guitarist and vocalist) and Addison Herron-Wheeler (bassist and backing vocals) have kicked out some of the sickest old-school death metal this side of the pandemic, including two demos (Reject Humanity and Cursed and Decaying) that first year and a split, Copulating in the Crypt, in 2022 with Seed of the Sorcerer, Womb of the Witch.

On May 12, Cronos Compulsion released its first EP, Malicious Regression, via Caligari Records. At just over seventeen minutes, the EP's five songs showcase what the trio does so well, including some death-doom elements. New tunes such as “Sacred Butchery” and “Consumed by Malignant Spirit” show off the band’s range.
Rodney Rice
Rodney Rice
Originally from West Virginia, Americana singer-songwriter Rodney Rice began homing in on his musical career in Texas before eventually moving to Denver. After releasing two albums — Empty Pockets and a Troubled Mind (2014) and Same Shirt, Different Day (2020) — he’s back with his third, self-titled record, released May 19.

Recorded at the Bomb Shelter in Nashville, Rodney Rice traverses wide emotional terrain, from the death of beloved grandparents and the loss of a cherished pet to life on the road and the joyful celebration of marriage. Rice delivers his ingenious and canny lyrics across the album through warm, gritty vocals. Pair that with his ability to lay down a melody, and Rice has come up with a recipe for moving listeners emotionally and physically. He plans to up his live performances, so keep an eye out for concerts near you.
Where the Cold Wind Blows
Denver’s Khemmis does doom metal better than most, so you may be surprised to know that the band recently released a folk song. For its seven-inch Where the Cold Wind Blows, Khemmis covered the Appalachian traditional “In the Pines,” and it’s as haunting as you’d expect from the doom dealers. The brand-new tune “Sigil” is also included on Where the Cold Wind Blows. That song, which was previously released by Decibel magazine, is more in the vein of what drummer Zach Coleman, bassist David Small and guitarists and vocalists Phil Pendergast and Ben Hutcherson do best.
Wave Decay
Denver shoegaze band Wave Decay is on a different type of trip. The four-piece, which comprises Jeff Deakyne (vocals and lead guitar), Payton Funk (keys and guitar), Mason Peters (drums) and Marisa Dal Santo (bass), blends "motorik drums with lush drones and sweeping fuzzed layers that rise to ethereal peaks,” according to the group’s bio. And that perfectly describes Visions, Wave Decay’s new EP released on May 1, with notable cuts “Send Me In” and “Shot in the Dark” among its five tunes. Funk and Deakyne call Wave Decay's sound "uniquely ours," and suggest taking psychedelics or smoking a bowl before listening — but sober listeners will find it just as enjoyable.
Suicide Cages
“Fuck City”
Following its five-song EP, Ungodly Grace, last summer, Denver metalcore band Suicide Cages is releasing a seven-song album, Cascading Failure, on June 30. On May 15 the group shared “Fuck City,” its first sampling of what to expect on the new record, which is only available on bandcamp. Vocalist Devin Rombough, guitarist Mhyk Monroe, bassist Thom McLoughlin and drummer Andrew Richo are chill dudes off stage, but once they plug in and start playing, they take no prisoners, with a loud brand of metal influenced by early-2000s bands such as Killswitch Engage, Converge, Botch and the Dillinger Escape Plan.

Rombough calls the songs on Cascading Failure “weird,” while Monroe explains that the album was all about pushing themselves. “We wanted to do things that were challenging to ourselves, challenging to our skill set,” he says. At just over three minutes, “Fuck City” is punchy and heavy, but also has a certain propulsive groove to it; the single's sound is just as in-your-face as the title.
Lost Relics
“Doomed From the Womb”
With a sound full of heavy psych-rock and down-tuned doom, Denver’s Lost Relics is gearing up to release its new album, Die + Cry + Loathe, on June 23 via Golden Robot’s Iron Head Records. The band’s latest single, “Doomed From the Womb,” which drops Tuesday, May 30, is the second song taken from the upcoming EP, which is expected to be a collection of introspective and emotional tracks that delve into themes of desperation, heartache and self-loathing, according to the four-piece.

The single churns along like a steamroller, thanks to the guitars of Jess Ellis and Marc Brooks and the rhythmic work of drummer Greg Mason and bassist Jason O. James. The band’s gargantuan sound is undeniable at this point, so keep an eye on Lost Relics.

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