Chokehold - _The Killing Has Begun_
(Casket Music, 2006)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (7.5 out of 10)
Apparently a more groove-oriented side project for members of the UK death metal band Descent, Chokehold lay down metallic hardcore of the post-Pantera variety. (Vinnie Paul is often cited for his technical prowess on the skins, but what often goes unmentioned is Terry Date's vastly influential production on those old Pantera records, particularly in regards to the clean, crisp snap of Vinnie's drumming.) Chokehold don't do much to push things forward, but their (nearly quaint) retro-thrash is certainly not without its charms.

For one thing, it hasn't been lost on these boys just how crucial a quality engineering job can be in allowing a stripped down set of songs room to breathe. Nick Hemingway -- a relative unknown whose biggest credential thus far has been manning the helm for Cancer's _Spirit in Flames_ -- lifts Chokehold above the standard genre limitations inherent in their all-too-reverent songwriting. _The Killing Has Begun_ aims for consistency over individual highlights, but "Hollow Soul" impresses with its deft riffing and closing breakdown, and lead single "Faith of Fear" easily sports some of uni-monikered Lawrence's ablest double bass skills.

Rarely, the band will slip into minor nu-metal variations, as on the chorus to "Hellbound" or the acoustic-laced intro to "Fallen"; but '90s-influenced thrash, the forerunner to today's so called metalcore, is at heart Chokehold's forte. In the end, perhaps, they make things sound a bit too effortless, but have hardly embarrassed themselves by stepping outside the comfort zone of their primary band. There is a place in the scene for solid supporting acts, and Chokehold are capable of keeping just about any headliner honest.

Contact: http://www.chokehold-metal.com

(article published 4/2/2007)


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