It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to find the meaning in some of the odder monikers.
We know of Kenny Khaos and his band Cronophage through the orifices of Justin Whitney and his band Church ov Melkarth. Cronophage is black metallic punk, but is surprisingly accessible... at least if you used to worship the devil like we did.
Cronophage avoids many of black metal's more eye-rolling clichés, and instead comes across as a very sedate group of psychopaths, corpse desecrators and livestock mutilators. We're saying they'll eat your soul, but not in front of your kids because that would be mean.
But that name... what the hell does "Cronophage" mean? Well, it means time-eater as anyone with a smidgen of Latin or a spoonful too much time in fetish clubs could probably figure out, but that doesn't really shed any light on the subject.
Rocks Off decided to do a little research before delving into the mind of Kenny Khaos, or rather to put off doing so as long as possible because, apparently, he's a lunatic. We were initially hesitant because the last time we did research for a band name, we ended up in a book of ball-shrinkingly horrible Native American black magic.
Well, into the breach...
Turns out that a Chronopage - note the spelling - is the name of a sinister mechanical locust that rests upon the Corpus Clock at Corpus Christi College in England. Unveiled in 2008, the unsettling timepiece strikes the hour using chains in a small wooden coffin. It is also only correct at a random time every five minutes, speeding up or slowing down in an effort to illustrate the irregularity of life.
The Chronopage, affectionately called Hopsy by students unaware of how incredibly fucking creepy it is, mechanically swallows each second that passes, and occasionally blinks in satisfaction. That's right, someone made a golden clock that is bad at telling time while simultaneously acting smug about the seconds of your life you just lost while watching the damn thing.
Ain't art neat?
Cronophage is obviously knowledgeable about the Corpus Clock, since their Myspace page includes a demo called "Crushing the Corpus Clock," but maybe it's just a coincidence. We laid in wait for the band, painting ourselves meticulously to blend in with some sort of Satanic tapestry they'd hung in their practice space, and demanded to know the origin of their name.
"The idea started with nuclear fusion which led to the sun, truly the ultimate time-eater," says Khaos. "The name comes from the Greek. 'Chronos' means..."
"Yeah yeah yeah," we interrupted. "We know what it means, but what does it mean?"
"It's about time, or time is up," he says. "Really, it's whatever it means to you. Lyrically, we play the roles of two timeless deities that travel through space shaping time, past and future, around ourselves and secretly around everything else. Sometimes it gets to our heads and we try to take on these tasks in real life."
That stopped us a bit. It's a big concept to wrap your head around. We're practical people here at Rocks Off. Salt-of-the-Earth kind of music journalists. We're consumed with practicalities, not the whirlygig of the space-time continuum hidden in the screeching of black-metal lyrics.
What was specifically bothering us was the need to go to the bathroom. Suppose you could actually eat time, what then would you fill your toilet bowl with? Vampires piss blood, after all. We bravely asked Khaos about this necessary bodily function.
"You poop everything else," said Khaos. "Your thoughts, your memories. When you wake up tomorrow you arrive in yesterday's future. Everything returns as our feces."
That's a disturbing thought.
There was one consuming hope from the very first moment that we read Cronophage's name. We're children of the '80s, growing up with the Nintendo and Super Nintendo systems. Like many geeks of our generation, we cut our imaginations on Squaresoft's Final Fantasy series and the amazing Chrono Trigger.
The time-jumping RPG had a sequel on Playstation we never really got into, and we've been hoping and praying that one day we might finally see a continuation of a game that regularly makes it into the Top 20 RPGs ever released.
Cronophage fed that hope, especially because though the name of the game was Chrono Trigger, the lead character's name was Crono without the "h." Just like Cronophage? We got on our knees in supplication.
"Are you the herald of a new Chrono Trigger game?" we asked with tears in our eyes.
"Hopefully," says Khaos. "If not, we do still plan on using Chrono Trigger as a song title in the near future. We also plan on plagiarizing the music from the games into the song."
We left hopeful. Black metal will do that to you.
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Cronophage (n): 1. Time-eater. 2. A long awaited video game sequel. 3. Black metal eargasm with cuddles afterwards.
Cronophage plays with Alaskan Mountain Metallers, Turbid North, Church ov Melkarth, Sculpting Atrocity, Fallacy, and Shopping for Death Friday, March 11, at Crazy Frogs.