They first formed in 1990, releasing the "More Than Ever" demo tape in 1991. This was quickly followed in 1992 by a split EP with Crisis of Faith and the Life Goes On EP that same year. The band was soon renowned as one of the heaviest in hardcore, drawing ire from some purists for incorporating metal riffage into their sound. Their rise in popularity paralleled that of other vegan straight edge bands such as Earth Crisis and hardline bands like Vegan Reich and Raid.
While bands that adhered to Hardline were totally opposed to abortion, Chokehold was vehemently pro-choice. While Chokehold were atheists and radicals with a strongly anarchist streak to their politics, many of the hardline bands were by contrast conservative (expressing belief in a higher power, homophobia, support for the death penalty and prisons and other conservative views). In 1993 Chokehold released the Prison of Hope LP through American label Conquer the World Records (CTW). They released their next record, 1994's Instilled EP, on Philadelphia, PA's Bloodlink Records. This EP featured some of their most powerful and political material to date, notably the anti-religious song "Anchor", the anti-homophobia song "Mindset", and "Burning Bridges", with its hard-hitting lyrics: "The corporations are aware where the average person is not, violence against one meat eater is not going to liberate a million animals.
You must take action against those who run the industry, not the ones lied to. And to take them down we must use as much fucking violence as they do. Animal liberation, Earth liberation, Human liberation, will only come through education." They followed this in the next year with their second LP, Content With Dying. This album contained by far their most controversial song yet: "Not a Solution" was possibly the most militantly pro-choice hardcore song since Born Against's "Mary and Child".
The liner notes to the song state, "to all the militant pro-lifers who couldn't spell 'life' let alone understand it, we salute you with a middle finger". The song is directed at those who identify as "pro-lifers", including many vegan straight edge bands at the time, most notably Abnegation. This song in particularly created a huge rift in the vegan straight edge scene. When Chokehold played a show with Abnegation that year, the two bands spent their sets screaming at each other, and they and their fans nearly came to blows.
This refusal to back down in the face of significant opposition even within their own subculture typifies Chokehold's uncompromising stance in general. They signed in 1996 to Germany's Mad Mob Records, who unbeknownst to them already had a bad reputation in the European hardcore scene. They recorded four new songs to be released as a split CD with Feeding the Fire, but after a European tour in 1996 the band decided to break up. They played their last show in March at the New Bedford Fest in Massachusetts. These four songs were released as a self-titled EP on Jawk Records the following year.
Members went on to play in such bands as The Swarm, Brutal Knights, Left For Dead, Haymaker, Our War and Seventy-Eight Days. 2. Chokehold is a hip-hop project from Crestview, Florida featuring Anthony Davis(of death metal bands Gutf*cked, Swine Overlord, Exophagy, and Necrosectomy and metal-core band Your Last Memory). He released his first demo "Just The Tip" in 2014 and then his full length debut album "Living Nightmare" in 2015. He has also feautured on the Operation Cunt Destroyer song, "Cries of the Chronic Masturbator".
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