Choke
Desiphon EP

There are lots of men and women out there in the world whose sexual proclivities lie on the more, let’s say “extreme” side of things. In particular, there are people all around the world who fantasize about, if not actively seek out sexual partners (singular, or many at once!) who will oblige their innate craving to get absolutely fucking railroaded in the bedroom, living room, abandoned warehouse, wherever (to be absolutely clear, we’re talking willing participants on all fronts here). Men and women who just want to be absolutely ravaged with maximum force and with reckless abandon. People who want their shit fucked (not literally… though I guess maybe sometimes?) eight ways til Sunday.

If it sounds like this is coming from personal experience, let me assure you my sexual history is about as vanilla as watching a Reese Witherspoon movie while taking pictures of my labradoodle posing next to a charcuterie board for it’s Instagram page. So why do I mention all of this about gang-bangs and train-running? I bring it up because I’m fairly confident that’s the kind of person who’d take great pleasure in the experience of listening to Green Bay’s grinding death outfit, Choke, who are here to reek absolute devastation on everything in their path.

At it’s most basic description, Desiphon sees Choke take the uncompromising, unyielding, full-frontal attack of Nails, but somehow deliver it with an even more unhinged, less refined assault on your senses. It’s like having a shotgun blast go off directly next to your ear while being dragged face-first through a pile of broken glass. I realize this doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience for most of you, but I think I made it pretty clear above that this was not going to be a pleasant listening experience – at least not in the sense that most normal, well-functioning might call “pleasant.” For those of us that can take and enjoy a little punishment, Desiphon is a DOOZY, storming out the gate on “Desiphon” with bludgeoning blasts and nearly-over-modulated, heavily HM-2 distorted guitars that could kick start a migraine the size of Montana if you’re not careful. As heavy and chaotic as all the blasting and grinding is, it’s the grooves that really get you (short lived as they are). You ever get hit in the head and suddenly everything is real woozy and disoriented, like time has suddenly slowed way down? That’s kinda what these grooves feel like. But of course, before you can even re-orient yourself and gain back control of your senses, the full-speed onslaught kicks back in and suddenly you’re just along for the ride again. It’s gonna take you wherever it wants to take you.

Second track “Lobotomy” does feel maybe a little less manic, providing you with somewhat of a more solid base to try and stand on. Some classic Death Metal riffing, a sick little two step that will get any crowd moving, it’s got all everything you could want in a tight package. It’s on third track “Deranged” however, where it feels like the band, with a whopping extra minute and change to work with, are able to put the whole thing together, showcasing the most barreling of their grooves (the one at 35 seconds following the prerequisite “BLECH” from vocalist Dusty Hansen is a smoker), the best of their riffs (the 1:00 mark will tear you 3 new assholes, and the one that follows is classic Swedish Death in the best possible ways), just most visceral and well-balanced of deliveries that makes the song sound longer and more packed than its run time suggests.

On the other end of the spectrum, the band takes it’s sweet-ass time on final track “Wraith,” clocking in at nearly 6 (!!!) minutes. While you might expect that long a track from a band mostly living in the sub-2-minute realm might be a bit meandering and aimless, it actually shows that the band really is more than capable of also delivering a fully-fleshed and really solid Death Metal track. Granted, I’ll admit the last 3 minutes maybe lasted a touch longer than necessary, but that’s nitpicking. I’m not sure this necessarily points to where the band will take things when they get around to delivering a full-length, but it leaves the door open for more possibilities.

It’s funny how sometimes the dumbest of things end up catching your attention. While the disturbing cover art certainly catches the eye, it was actually the official band photo attached to the promo that caught my attention – specifically, it was drummer Chris Piette wearing a Mepps lures long sleeve T-shirt. As an avid angler with plenty of their classic in-line spinners in my tackle box, I thought “OK, I get these guys.” Then I went to their IG page, and BOOM! Guitarist Caleb Cheslock is holding a nice Northern Pike in his hands, wearing a hunting camo-colored Choke baseball cap. I love these guys! Hit me up if you ever find yourselves near Lake Champlain. What’s the point of all this? Uh… Nothing. Except, I guess, that I’m just grateful that these discoveries that had nothing to do with metal ended up turning me on to a band that I really like, even if listening to them is a slightly painful experience. But as the most ardent of sadomasochists would probably tell you, embrace the pain! It makes the pleasure feel oh so better.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
October 14th, 2022

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