Gaza - I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die - 2006 - Metal Blade Records
1. Calf 2. I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die 3. Hospital Fat Bags 4. Gristle 5. Sire 6. Slutmaker 7. Hell Crown 8. Moth 9. Cult 10. Pork Finder
In the war-torn expanse between the trenches of Converge and ‘Seriously Fucked’, Gaza was born. After their first EP, ‘East’, they returned in 2006 with the debut full-length ‘I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die’, and are now signed to Metal Blade, some may discount Gaza as simple genre support for label-mates As I Lay Dying or Unearth. In reality those tables should be turned, if innovation and original passion stand for anything in today’s music business. More bands like this one may help turn the tide.
At some moments, Gaza are nearly as overwhelming in their rage and misanthropy as Khanate or Today is the Day, with all instruments (voice included) howling out in mad agony at the world around them. Politics, society, religion—this album is the aural effigy of that which they despise.
Of course, all artists respond to their environment, but this band is one of the lucky few that can express the abyss of human emotion through channels that an audience can respect for its eloquent musicality as much as its raw energy. Rather than relying solely on the traditional array of ‘heavy’ techniques—blastbeats, breakdowns, pinch harmonics, extreme dissonance, etc.—Gaza draw deeply from wells across the entire metal community and resourcefully come up with some tricks of their own.
The result is an album with songs as diverse as they are powerful, and with impressions that endure long after the initial shock value. With each listen, the ambience of ‘Sire’ becomes more sinister, the curt invocation of “God!” during ‘Gristle’ more desperate, and the lyrical satire of ‘Hell Crown’ more incisive.
‘I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die’ may be a facetious title, but it is a fitting final flourish on an album that bluntly and brutally exposes the frustration, resentment, and hostility that our American society can inculcate in its youth. The bands explicit mockery of the modern music scene and their flagrant use of Satan and ‘666’ may turn some fans away, but they no doubt relish the unrest that they cause. Having been brought up in the relatively stiff, proper community of Salt Lake City, Gaza are out to rebel, to burn bridges, simply because they can. Yet, even as Gaza violently condemn society, ‘The Man’, God, and his domain, they reveal an earnest humanity that is profound and deeply moving.
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