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Psycho Choke: Unraveling Chaos

Psycho Choke hail from the island of Greece and formed in 1999 by rhythm guitarist Argy. The band has four albums to their credit with the latest entitled Unraveling Chaos. Other band members are Bax (rhythm and lead guitars), George Montes (drums), Al Roy (vocals) and Phantomas (bass). This band screams brutality from the disturbing cover art to the lyrics, which can be a little vulgar, not to mention the music which absolutely pummels the listener senseless with jack hammer drumming and screaming guitar riffs. This is intense stuff, which should come as no surprise to seasoned fans of thrash/metalcore. That said, there are many melodic moments found throughout this album that made it much more listenable than I expected.

The vocals must also be mentioned as they are up front and center. If you do not like growling you will have a hard time with Psycho Choke although many of the songs also have clean vocals to soften the blow. Both styles are well done and I could even make out most of the words through the growls which was a bonus.

Now on to the songs. The album starts with "Intro", a short number with ominous electronic elements and deep resonating growls. The strange effects and scary vocalizations sounds like something from a nightmare and sets up the rest of the album nicely. This is followed by "Freedom in a Bottle of Scotch" where the vocal style lies somewhere between screams and growls but the added clean vocals are a nice touch. The band slows down the metalcore riffs incorporating a doom flavour to the rhythms. "Death By Words" has an almost indie style beginning with melodic clean vocals before the jackhammer riffs and blistering fretwork will leave your head spinning. "Streetwise (Caramba)" has the band morphing between the alternative grooves of reggae tinged rhythms to brutal riffage, almost feeling like there are two bands playing against one another. The brutality is toned down, at least a little, in the melodic thrash of "Swamp" where the beginning reveals a wicked rhythm section and the clean vocals are very good. The album's last song, the aptly titled "Outro", showcases distorted spoken words over a soundscape of moody atmospherics and ends the album in a positive light.

While Psycho Choke are one of many bands in the genre and are not forging into new territory with Unraveling Chaos, they are good musicians and play a style of metalcore where the melodies soften the album's more brutal moments of which there are many. Fans of intensely played metal will probably want to hear this one. Just remember kids, this is not for the squeamish.

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. Freedom in a Bottle of Scotch
3. Get Down
4. Death By Words
5. Streetwise (Caramba)
6. Obey
7. Swamp
8. Fire in the Hole
9. Dummy
10. Outro

Added: August 14th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 3129
Language: english

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