Review : Gaza - He Is Never Coming Back
SputnikmusicIt’s hard to imagine a better follow-up album than Gaza’s second full-length, as He is Never Coming Back improves on basically every aspect of its predecessor, and then some. Uncompromisingly heavy, HINCB is a headtrip of riffs and breakdowns, continuing along I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die’s path of sludgy-metalcore goodness while embellishing on and enhancing every characteristic of their sound.
Such as “The Meat of a Leg Joint” and “Tombless”, which has one of the best riffs you’ll hear all year, embellish out the band’s more straightforward metalcore sound, “The Astronomer” and the title track focus more on the band’s sludgier side. When Gaza mixes these styles successfully---and they’re pretty much always successful at this---is when shit gets real interesting. For example, see “Canine Disposal Unit”, an epic that alternates from speedy riffing to total crushing brutality, which also features vocalist Jon Parkin’s all-encompassing roar at its most disgusting and at its most totally awesome.
HISNCB has two main surprises. One is the rather unforeseen versatility of the songs, which never seem to end anywhere near where they started; the constant progression of different riffs and sections give some songs a slight math-y or even a progressive feel. Another surprise are the songs “The Biologist” and “The Anthropologist”, which are two brief softer pieces that offer a welcome reprieve from the total heaviness found everywhere else on the album. “The Anthropologist” is the most impressive: it shows Gaza can easily pull of the kind of pussy post-rock that underfed college dweebs live off nowadays....full text
HeavymetalIn sports, sometimes a team will say they don’t win pretty, but they get the job done. Salt Lake City’s Gaza does absolutely nothing pretty. Well, at times they pull off some atmospheric distortion twangs and a few serene interludes, but there is a decided hostility ambuscading audiences confronting Gaza’s second album He is Never Coming Back.
It should be no surprise Nick Zampiello of Unsane would take an interest in working with Gaza, considering the group’s dense minimalism and outrageous woof, not only from vocalist Jon Parkin, but the band as a whole. Of course, Gaza is wont to pull down on their chords, be they clean or fuzz-infested. Sometimes Gaza drops grunting twangs and often times wah-barfed dips, and the effect they’re looking for with their audiences is a loud provocation shot straight into their ear canals. Refer to the opening sequences and a couple of return visits of “The Kicking Legs” yanked-up fret tugs ala Unsane. Add in some steady beat patterns and effective crunch chords, and Gaza toughens up their sound considerably....full text
LambgoatThere are three things you need to know about the dudes that make up Gaza. Number one: they're skillful purveyors of dissonant metalcore. Number two: they're staunch atheists with an aesthetic and outspoken mentality to match. And most importantly, number three: as good as I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die was, He Is Never Coming Back blows it away.
Gaza's progression seems to mirror that of their peers in fellow Black Market Activities band The_Network, both in execution and time frame. The bands released their full-length debuts within a few months of each other in late '06/early '07, and both have returned with a more fine-tuned, cohesive follow-up, blissfully exceeding expectations. But to use a word like "blissfully" within fifty feet of Gaza is the definition of paradoxical. The reason He Is Never Coming Back is such a strong record lies in the band's decision to drive their sound into a darker, more cacophonous hole, stripping it of any and all melody in the process. This is burly, brazen, and simply more disillusioned than most records to have hit the market this year.
However, the catch here is that He Is Never Coming Back is probably more inaccessible than their last release (and yes, I do realize that calling I Don't Care. accessible is yet another paradoxical statement for the books). But after making it through a few rounds of the record's discordant one-string riffs, churning bass rhythms, and pounding drums, their take on that late '90s/early 2000s noisy hardcore sound becomes blatantly intelligent. Yes, their sound can still be traced back to the standard Deadguy, Coalesce, Botch, and Burnt by the Sun prerequisites, but by stripping away all of the catchy grooves and subtle melody from the aforementioned list, they've actually managed to create something more memorable than their previous album. Feedback, massive breakdowns, and a wall of incessant growls always have been Gaza's mark, but this record drives that point home twice as hard. Any metal/hardcore listener into this genre's classics needs a spot on their CD rack for this stripped down, painfully abrasive work of dissonant metalcore art (as long as "metalcore art" isn't paradox number three)....full text
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