Gaza | ‘No Absolutes in Human Suffering’
There’s enough blood and intensity in Gaza to point towards their use of the name as being somewhat justified.
The US band might be best known to Irish listeners from their jaunt supporting Converge in Ireland a couple of years ago.
The jarring, discordant style of grind-infected hardcore is one which makes a lasting impact, and sat well with the Massachusetts veterans on that trip.
‘No Absolutes in Human Suffering’ starts with a resonating, peaceful sounding guitar note. This slowly peals out, inevitably detonating with a thunderous release as the full form of ‘Mostly Hair and Bones Now’ is unleashed.
The group do a good job of melting the discordant, brash style of riffing that often resembles countrymen Coalesce with more easily flowing sections.
That ease of changing pace is one of their primary strengths. We also get a starkly beautiful, looping melody at the end of ‘This We Celebrates’, which transitions in blink-of-an-eye speed to the pummeling of ‘The Truth Weights Nothing’.
It’s noisy, fast, and twists like it doesn’t want to sit still. There’s a considerable amount of weight and power being the Kurt Ballou production – the crisp hiss of the cymbals and thunder of the guitars speak of that man’s power behind the recording desk.
Their ease of shifting gear is what makes the record really so enjoyable.
Honestly speaking, there precious little here that hasn’t been done better before by many bands, but the group’s efficiency is certainly admirable.
There are those crucial variations in pace, with the title track in particular slowing things down to a clanging dirge.
There’s a slight inarticulation which troubles this reviewer though. The record itself sounds accomplished. As the band have stated, this time they “knew what they were doing” but it only goes so far.
That high standard it sets itself never fully blossoms into something really great, be it conceptually or instrumentally.
Those few moments of Gaza really trying something different though work with great effect. They elevate the ground above the crowded field and speak of some inspiration that’s beyond the average.
Here’s hoping more moments of inspiration push them to the next level with the follow up. Regardless, this stuff is going to be highly violent in a live setting. It hums of aggression.
3.4 / 5 - Lorcan Archer ::: 12/08/11