Released: 2006, Blackmarket Activities/Metal Blade
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
If you find Pig Destroyer and Prostitute Disfigurement too upbeat and Napalm Death and Cattle Decapitation too slow for your tastes, Salt Lake City’s Gaza might be what you’ve been waiting for. A blistering, angry and dark assault on the senses is found on the band’s debut, I DON’T CARE WHERE I GO WHEN I DIE and after repeated listens, it becomes more and more evident that Gaza is one of the best new bands to come on the scene in a while. This music is ugly, technical and noisy sludge-grind—not everyone’s cup of tea—but it is as appealing as it is offensive and to generate feelings so polar opposite of each other, Gaza must be commended. This band must absolutely destroy live and to witness their cacophonous punishment would be real treat but until then, the brilliant complexity and utter rawness of I DON’T CARE WHERE I GO WHEN I DIE will have to tide me over.
Lyrically, this is pretty odd stuff but the occasional gem stands out—“Dumber than a bag of Hatebreed fans” and “What the fuck smells like bad priest in here” are two shining examples—even though you need the booklet to understand what the hell is being shouted/screamed. Needling the listener with jangly, discordant guitar riffs on “Calf” and “Gristle,” an inherent groove beckons from beyond and the foreboding technical basslines thump with a purposeful intensity. For all its tech-core first half, the brooding doom-like qualities of the second half of “Hospital Fat Bags” seem even heavier, looming like a blackened cloud of hopelessness over the proceedings. In a similar vein, “Hell Crown” and “Sire” are all flashy guitar runs before heading off to a slow, deliberate conclusion. Punishing drums and a guest appearance by The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad propel “Cult” through a driving groove and a vicious breakdown at the 1:45 mark that combat the more atonal, distorted moments. “Pork Finder” is as rich with ambience and melody as it is with chugging brutality. Strangely, an untitled eleventh track comprised of over seven minutes of absolute silence before two seconds of gunfire close the CD. Given the off-putting nature and absurdity of the previous three quarters of an hour, this seems like a fitting end.
An air of uneasiness washes over the listener through the course of I DON’T CARE WHERE I GO WHEN I DIE, much like that felt with Pig Destroyer’s TERRIFYER. Visceral beatdowns pummel from start to finish, every sense getting stimulated and overworked to the point of exhaustion. With I DON’T CARE WHERE I GO WHEN I DIE, Gaza has unleashed the heaviest, nastiest and most intense metal album of 2006, period. Absolutely brilliant.
KILLER KUTS: “Calf,” “Hospital Fat Bags,” “Gristle,” “Sire,” “Hell Crown,” “Cult,” “Pork Finder”