A goat on the cover. I’m sold. I’m so easy. But this is not. Gaza is Dis-ease music. A+ for the flippant album title, especially considering they are from Utah. (Which I shall steer clear of, thanks Gaza!) The early eighteenth century term “Diabolus in Musica” (the devil in music) certainly lends credence to the whole abominable atmosphere of this ugly chunk of eeeeevil. Exploding in your ears at the outset in bursts of serrated tritones and detuned disharmony, this is probably the most genuinely frightening album I have heard since Today is The Day released Sadness Will Prevail. Death metal is probably a little too timid of an identifier for this band. I usually joke around with playing death metal or what scream you around my very sensitive and lady-like woman, but I know better with this album.
This music nourishes nightmares. Even the breakdowns sound like the harbingers of Gog and Magog; the two guitarists torturing ill shrieks from callously tapped fingers and twisted chords, the drummer trying to beat his kit into pulp, and the screamer making his point clear, even if most of it is incomprehensible, except for the track “Gristle” a stop start roaring..”Pray it’s malignant!” God I hope not! Its all very unnatural and hopeless. The only times of respite away from the the ear clawing screams of anguish, or the monstrously dissonant dual guitar scraping and slashing is when they slow down for a doom crawl, not really bringing the succor. I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die is overwhelming to say the least, and if you haven’t been immersed in grind and filth for years, this is probably about as appealing as drinking the oily after-film from the bottom of a bucket of fish guts.
That said, this is for those who find that very thing delicious. The musicianship of all players is refreshing in their quest to find new permutations of bad and worse. The drummer thrashes his kit in constructing and deconstring cascades, off-timing his snares to create a jarring effect that settles in nicely with the rest of the cacaphony. Being that I am a guitarist, it is rather exciting to hear two guitarist make excellent use of a variety of intermediate to expert techniques, especially their multiple fingered chord tapping, and slides of evil and misdirection. As far as the vocalist is concerned, he needs to take a step back and really ask himself, is it that bad? I mean it must be. There is nothing in this record that would give you a conclusion otherwise. his lyrics are funny and disturbing, evoking images of rot and licentiousness in a world with no pity and less light. He also aims a few jabs at emo fans and apparently hardcore too. Not sure what its all about, I am out of the loop, but I am sure the kids kow what’s what. The bassist is buried a bit in the mix, but maybe because he’s tuned to like Z sharp or something.
I am pretty sure there is some riffage that may have been copped from Mr. Austin, but they tune down so low that the transposition renders said theft unrecognizable. And thats ok, because really, there is nothing new under the sun, and I believe it when Gaza proclaims they don’t care where they go when they die.