Review 2107 : Compress – The Final Level of Consciousness – English

Let’s lose our minds with Compress.

After a first demo in 2022, the American band comprising Matt McGrath (guitar), Dave Willoughby (bass), Zack Birmingham (drums) and Connor Dooley (vocals/keyboards, Lustrum) signs to Eternal Death to offer The Final Level of Consciousness, their first EP.

Fissured Cosmos kicks off with a cracking sound, followed by a motivating Old School rhythm and a distant Black/Thrash scream, confirming the band’s penchant for raw violence. The cavernous howls follow, accompanied by icy harmonics, creating a heady, sometimes melodic sound that leads with its dark approach to The Final Level of Consciousness, where riffs become more unhealthy while remaining in effective patterns. A few more impressive passages punctuate the band’s progression, never hesitating to slow things down to reinforce their frantic reprise before letting the bass knock us out at the start of Formosus, the next track. We have haunting Doom influences in this macabre atmosphere, but these are eventually propelled at high speed to join sharp, ominous leads before sizzling leads us to Damnatio Memoriae, the final composition, which first bewitches us with airy tones before screams and double kick appear to wreak havoc on the serenity, taking the riffs with them to better unleash the hurricane.

Compress adorns itself with a thick and hazy mix to give its riffs all the intensity they need. With its four tracks, The Final Level of Consciousness slowly plunges us into a dreamlike apathy which’s much appreciated.


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