Slow Fade: How I Learned to Question Infinity
(Smallman Records) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 Choke executes the uncommon, that is, they create technical, progressive music that is very accessible. There are some memorable hooks, and the song structures are fairly easy to follow. The individual riffs can be complex, often with accents that occur on the weaker beats, with some fills thrown in, but the overall result is a sound that is deliberate, with a sense of direction. It could be called metal at times, but it does not have the dynamic limitations of straightforward metal.
What I find most interesting is that both guitars are usually doing different things, such as one playing a riff that is chord-oriented, while the other plays accenting and counter-harmony lines, just as an example of the many textures on this record. Their distorted sound has just enough gain to have power and drive, while retaining the tone of the notes. The vocals are very clear, and resemble what might be heard in contemporary, airplay oriented rock. The drums have a bit of hardcore sound, especially the snare. Finally, the bass blends in to create a backdrop of groove, and changes the mood of the guitar lines by playing tones with a contrasting harmonic pull. The mix is just perfect, with everything in balance.
While I would not call Choke a "progressive" band , they have progressive elements, integrated with catchy vocal lines to create enjoyable and thought-provoking songs. This would appeal to fans of technical music, and even to people whose tastes are closer to more popular rock. In a perfect world, this would make a killing on commercial radio.