Chop House, Heavy And Melodic Metal From Bay City Michigan

10440962_699245266824576_6623008978305351192_nChop House!!!!! What? Really? They’re named Chop House?  Yes, and despite sounding like they are named after a steakhouse fast food chain these dude’s play some really good heavy metal. Here are what I found on their Facebook page as far as members are concerned:

Adam Whyte – Lead Vocals Eric Mulholland – Rhythm/ Lead Guitars & Backing Vocals Zac Rood – Rhythm Guitars Mike Wilson – Drums/ Screams Enrique Davila- Bass and groove

Their Reverbnation bio states they were formed in 2010, and have gone through some lineup changes but seem to have settled down with the current lineup. I’ll request an interview later to find out more about them. Now to the music.

What first drew me was the precision of the guitar riffs, coming from the Thrash era you can understand why I’m drawn to that style of rhythm playing. And throughout the three songs they have on Reverbnation they maintain that precision playing but they tastefully use sustained full chords that add a lot of color and emotion to the songs, the first song Welcome To This Town is a great example of what they do rhythmically on guitar. The riffs are heavy and catchy, with a touch of groove metal mixed in and sound mostly great, the only issue I have is that the tone sounds somewhat muffled and would have done well with a little more treble and mids. The solos are really good, really really good, and the guitar harmonies are a highlight of the bands sound. They shred too, tasteful shred with emotion and love in every note , yeah yeah, that sounds gay, but you get what I mean, they play with feel.

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Vocally the singer is strong, though it might be a turn off to all the fans of the cookie monster guttural vocals that dominate too fucking much of today’s metal. He’s a got a clear vocal style but occasionally delves into rougher territory, and it’s not quite the powerhouse voice of a Power Metal singer, or the rough edged vocals of a Thrash vocalists, its somewhere in between and it works for this band. Frankly it took me a bit to get used to it at first, because the vocals sounded off just a tad off, like the music and the vocal style mismatched. But as the first song progressed, and then I listened to the rest of the songs I began to understand that at certain points the vocals were a little lower in the mix than they should be in certain parts, especially in the first song during the chorus, and it makes it seem like the vocalists is a little under powered for what they are trying to do. All in all, if you like less cookie monster and something more discernible then you’ll like the vocals, I definitely do despite the shaky mix/performance on the first song Welcome To This Town. They sound stronger in Time To Take A Stand and Already Gone, songs two and three respectively.

The rhythm section sounds pretty kick ass. The drummer has chops and the bass holds his groove just like he should. They are powerful in their style, and tight in their pockets. The drummer is dynamic, and holds the bands tightness in his firm grip, he’s a player for sure. With touches of Thrash and Extreme metal in his playing it really is a joy to listen to his beats. On the last song Already Gone, his beat for the chorus is original and adds to the overall emotion that the great chorus already has. The only thing I don’t like about the rhythm section is that the bass gets lost in the mix, most likely because it bleeds into the  guitar frequencies which have a little too much bass tone to them and not enough highs and mids as I previously stated. This makes it hard to evaluate the bass playing, but I did check out a video of the band playing Welcome To This Town live and its obvious the bass player has great chops. Would love to hear it better mixed into the overall sound. Also, the snare drum does not sound very good, at times it almost sound like an electric drums snare. Not the snap that I like to hear. Also, the bass drum is just a notch below the heart stopping thud it should have. As a whole though, it’s good, but not great when it comes to the mix/sound/production of the rhythm section.

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The band is definitely better than cheap dog food. \m/

Overall this band can play, has distinct musical components (aka an actual rhythm section), and brings emotion to their game. They still need to work on better production/mix to get a sound that will showcase what a good band this is. On their Reverbnation page they state they are supposed to be releasing something this year, but I couldn’t anything other than a Facebook post showing they are doing some home recording of some sort. Whatever the delay, they need to hustle that shit. There’s a lot of potential for more good music from these guys. Links and music below.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chophouseband

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