(Self-Released, 2008, 9 tracks, 42 minutes, 30 seconds, by Adam McAuley)
This is a harsh platter of riffs that has a hardcore background. The band make a point of crafting the more abrasive type of metal possible within their style ranges and they crank out a hardcore approach of their own. Do the band have enough of a presence to hold their own within the metal genre, however?
A great comparison to Slayer can be made as they rummage through the soundscapes they create to form a backbone of aggression. The speed of the album can be slightly less than that of Slayer’s finest works, but manages to maintain its own regardless. Chokehold are able to copy a style to some extent, but keep theirs as well.
The ability to have a break down is present on the album to a great extent as the band are able to groove their way towards their own liking. This can be seen to run through their veins as they move along to their own riff styles quite effectively and this shows them to be quite versatile.
Thus one tries to find interest in the Slayer-like styles of the riffs and this is what turns you onto the band. They are capable of finding a distinctive voice within the genre and it has enough to turn you into a big fan. One expects a lot of a certain frequency of aggression and they tune right into what they can produce although it may not be the deepest of music possible.
The problem with Chokehold is that some people might find them to be somewhat generic sounding and repetitive. The lack of distinctive identity might make them also difficult to like as its difficult to pin down whether the band is going for a thrash style or more of a grind one overall.
This lack of an interesting tangent might make it difficult for some people to embrace them that think this might need a couple of notches of technical accompaniment to make a better work. There’s enough of a vehement approach to be found here, but a rather empty exterior makes them seem like they could hold more passion within.
If you can get past the seemingly generic exterior, than you’re left with a fun band in the form of Chokehold and they’re capable of tearing your head off with the musical meanderings they upheld. Anyone interested in an aggressive piece of music should get a lot out of The Sweet Smell of Genocide.
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