11- Baptism- Funeral
There is something ambitious about making an album, something so core and fundamental about its meaning, the effort and skill it takes to get one off the ground in the first place shows courage, determination and downright balls. Especially when your music is trying to carve its way around the genre which to some may seem a bit flooded, with names and changes every few years, this hasn’t stopped the power troupe of Choking on Illusions from lending the audience a new option.
Based in Saarbrücken, South-West Germany, the five piece who already have an impressive back catalogue including ;2009s self-titled EP , a follow up demo in 2010, 2012s “guide me home” self-released album and self-released 2012 EP “Revive”. With their latest release “Rest/less” have been creatively bold and ambitious.
From the open and laying on the line opener the band start welding their own sound of quick to fire snare heavy melodies, keeping the tracks short and to the point really adds a harmony and balance to the album that doesn’t let up on energy. It’s with tracks such as the self-titled of the album “Rest/less” and “Sleepwalker” that make you really shut up and want to listen to the tracks, they are soaring both emotionally with their lyrics but uplifting in riffage too.
The band aren’t afraid to calm things down in that old school Atreyu/Still Remains kind of mid-album instrumental slow down. With lapping piano and ethereal verses before punching out another slice of aggression – aptly named track “Broken song” for example replicates this well.
As the album goes on the band really find themselves a musical niche especially in ninth track “Death Waltz” where you could almost see yourself being thrown into a mosh pit, it’s this raw energy that makes this album really kick. The band have chosen to close with the thundering tapestry of “baptism- Funeral” which rounds off the album nicely.
The band comprised of Mario Strasser (Vocals), Jannik Aulenbacher (Guitar), Maciej Spiczak (Guitar), Christian Pontes (Bass) and Dustin Ueckert (Drums) have worked their way through over one hundred and fifty shows, and you can tell from the album too, just the pure togetherness of the sound and that certain comfortableness that comes with being a solid band.
Throughout the album it is obvious the band have a great passion and love for music and how to make it as dexterous as possible, as there are a lot of strong elements working for the band on this album. It would be fair to say that the band are very similar in sound to fellow Europeans Kvelertak in their musical punches, the singing however, is so crisp and clear it’s hard to not end up drifting into its rich tapestry of tones.
For a first album release this is strong album, it’s punchy, soulful and really gives the listener something fresh to listen too. It’s different enough per track to hold the attention of non-believers to the genre and would be fantastic in the live setting to get energy from.