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Chokehold Policy - Contra Reo

Chokehold Policy
Contra Reo
by Andrew Harvey at 13 November 2021, 7:19 AM

CHOKEHOLD POLICY are actually made up of two people, KARL JANUS on vocals and IMMANUEL RAHMAN who is on guitar, bass and drum programming. The duo were once described as “a crushing confluence of hardcore and metal that is infused with righteous rage which rallies again social injustice, warfare and political powerplay with searing vitriol”. So they are also a very new duo so they have released their debut EP titled CONTRA REO and the two guys are both from Germany. They have released their EP independently as well and well when I first listened to this EP, I certainly heard the hardcore mixed with heavy elements like guitar and/or bass parts.

The EP opens up with “Atrocity Layers” which is a running riot with fiery, heavy metal trajectories accompanied by no nonsense vocals speaking of society and warfare in great detail. The speed of drums and the elements is staggering but only lasting for 2 minutes as a taster for the next track. “Contra Reo” hammers down with hardcore and almighty thunderous metal mania. The drumming being technical and clinical comes down like a ton of bricks, mixed with strikes of guitar blasts.

The vocals as well helps to clarify the accented and quicker jabs of heavy metal guitar. This is not a long track either like it’s predecessor but the rhythm of the contrasting volume speaks for itself. “Reprisal” has more pulsating guitar with wild pitch shifts, vibrato mostly and eccentric lower end let alone the melodic parts. Vocals as ever stand out guitar provide rhythm, drive and influence the other instruments. As a result there is more heaviness and deathcore sound which is very effective.

“Communication” has an enduring screamer at the start after guitar & bass share the narrative. The long pauses or buzz of guitar or bass fills the audio spectrum. There is more room for theatrics and new ideas perhaps but the duo know their limits as to style or dynamics. “Reduced Residual Limb Performance” seems faster but then again these tracks are of fast paced tempo and lightning speed. Quick cymbal hits, complex rhythm varying and vocals growling or screaming in different points.

Even more of thrash or post punk elements in this track. This also seems more flexible, changes of tempo or dynamic naturally to change the mood or atmosphere. “Rape For Hire” more melody, slower and trimmed back with maybe more control. Drums pounce with authority and vocals cut through the mix like a stab in the dark but not excessive. Guitar sounds more psychedelic at the start but then goes through the blender and becomes more organic. Bass also contributes at one stage and also reminds us what came before. A very good compilation of almost what we can expect of other songs or perhaps a full length album. Vocals and drums are very appealing, proper hardcore to the max.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Atrocity Layers
2. Contra Reo
3. Reprisal
4. Communication
5. Reduced Residual Limb Performance
Karl Janus - Vocals
Immanuel Rahman - Guitar, Bass and Drum Programming
Record Label: Independent


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