Forgotten Gems:Chozzen Phate-Chozzen Phate
Steel Legacy Records
Back in January I got a box of mix and match CDs from a fellow tape trader. Over the past month or so since that box (or late Christmas present as I like to call it) landed in my hands I have been listening to the various discs. Some discs have found their way into my CD player more times than others have with Chozzen Phate being in that list. Before that fateful day when I opened up the mystery box (I knew some of what my friend was sending with others being more of a surprise) Chozzen Phate was not a group I had heard off. So, away I went to the Internet to see what kind of good stuff I could dig up about these guys. This San Antonio, Texas five-piece was one of those bands who managed to crank out a demo or two before disappearing into the night never to be heard from again. Or not until Steel Legacy Records came along releasing this CD/DVD combo in 2009 that is. Formed in 1990 the group released a Rehearsal tape in 1991 (more or less a demo really) followed by a 1995 demo. For whatever reason though the music on this disc (pulled from that 1991 demo) just didn't catch on with the right people and somehow these guys slipped through the cracks. Such was the fate of many power metal bands back in the early nineties. Seeing as the music industry was changing it's focus seemingly overnight these sorts of quality progressive/power metal bands didn't stand a snowballs chance in hell. Now, not that it matters much to these ears but since the source material was from a demo recording the quality is so-so. That said fans of technical and progressive power metal would still do well checking out this re-release. Lead singer Paul Deleon has those siren-like vocals reminding me somewhat of the late-great David Wayne. Speaking of Wayne, musically I can hear a bit of early Metal Church in Chozzen Phate's sound as well as some Hellstar, SA-Sanctuary (where supposedly a member or two of Chozzen Phate spent some time) and fellow Texas act Syrus. Some reports also say that Syrus and Chozzen Phate shared members although I can't confirm that. On the progressive side of things I'd wager to say there is more than enough early Fates Warning and Queensrÿche to go around on these 5 songs as well as a layer of two of Watchtower. So if technical/progressive American style power metal sounds good to you then this should be an essential purchase. The bonus material may also be of some interest to you especially if you miss the old scene. Seeing the band live where they are captured in all of their glory (in other words loud heavy metal) made the disc all the more worthwhile. Good things do come out of surprise packages as this CD/DVD combo proved!