The way Die Choking bursts out of your speakers, gnashing its angry yellow, plaque covered teeth at your throat, they have me wondering whether to skip the intro and dive straight into the heart of the review… well almost. Philadelphia based Die Choking are on the verge of releasing the first vinyl press of their début, 5-track, self-titled EP and with it comes a crust-based grindcore sound that harkens to the very early days of Napalm Death and at the same time worships the sacred ground walked by Nails. With a name like Die Choking, you’re expecting a beast of an album, one that that rips a huge chunk of meat from your throat and leaves you thrashing around on the floor choking in your own blood-red froth. Can these shredders deliver on such high expectations?
“Low Finality” doesn’t waste any time before assaulting your senses with Paul Herzog’s larynx-tearing, manic shrieks. They’re far more pronounced and urgent in his current outfit than when compared to what he delivered on Total Fucking Destruction‘s Three Way of Armageddon, but still not quite hitting the ferocity I wanted. Joshua Cohen (Cop Problem) and Jeffrey Daniels (Burden) on drums and guitars respectively, drive the fervor of the track with their aggressive instrumentation. At times Joshua has all my attention with his drum fills, but occasionally it feels like there’s the odd, split-second lag where a quicker pace is needed. All in all for a band delivering their first work, “Low Finality” is a clear indicator that Die Choking can combine grindcore intensity and savagery with the added depth and longer track-length associated with death metal, and still deliver a meat-grinding experience.
Some neat helter-skelter guitar work in “Momentum” and choppy stop-start-chaos in “Greed War” bring to mind an odd combination of Nails tyranny and Vom Fetisch der Unbeirrtheit‘s off-kilter anti-music. Other stand-out moments include the contorted feel of “Reason Resist | Reason Reborn” and the gnarled deformation of “Unistall” with its hails to Napalm Death‘s Scum side A and once again a very subtle grab at Vom Fetisch der Unbeirrtheit‘s dark and elusive mantle.
Die Choking was recorded by Dan O’Hare (Brutal Truth) at his Mark It Zero Studios in New Jersey. He’s used a modern production style that’s lashed some cleanliness to the instrumentation and more specifically, the vocals, while still bearing similarities to the style used on Nails Abandon all Life.
This album hits you like foreplay and while foreplay’s a whole hell of a lot of fun and a great way to while away the afternoon, lets be honest here – it’s the climax you want! My bones of contention lie to some extent with Paul’s vocal style. I enjoy the intensity of his scream, but were the band to say, add a second vocalist capable of monstrous growls, this would bring deeper brutality to Die Choking‘s sound. In addition, five tracks proved an entertaining listen and there were definite nods to stepping outside of hum drum grind, but on a full-length album these few short bursts of creativity wouldn’t be enough to hold my attention. This is a worthy first release from a young up-and-coming band, and I’m watching and waiting to see if Die Choking dig their clutch in a little deeper next time around [Choking fetish, eh? – Steel “No Judging” Druhm].