Gaza "I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die" CDPosted on Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 @ 9:23am » permalink
Gaza's "I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die" (Blackmarket Activities) is one of those records I can't totally make up my mind on since I'm generally not that into the whole over the top abrasive/chaotic metalcore thing, but I have to give these cats credit for developing a truly fucked up sound that actually takes this style to different levels – which is pretty fuckin' rare. Yeah, you'll find fairly normal doses of scathing screams and harsh, snarling yells over whacky hammer-on/pull-off runs and acerbically noisy guitar textures, but there's a hell of a lot more going on than that. For one thing, these guys really push the limits of those caustic guitar sounds, experimenting with some truly severe textures. However, they actually form riffs out of that shit, which ain't exactly easy on the ears, but is pretty damn interesting. They also counterbalance the speedy blitzes and frantically shuffled change-ups with some pulverizingly crushing slow to midpaced sludginess – at times even dropping back to some sparse clean passages or truly eerie melodic dissonance – and it's these elements that bear the most promise for me, hooking me in and keeping me interested in what the band truly has to offer.
But there are other elements working in Gaza's favor, too. Amidst the churning density, the recording's pretty damn crisp and lets the bass presence make a good mark on the material, not to mention the fact that the drums sound pretty damn great, highlighting a strong performance that's one of the more consistently impressive attributes of the musicianship. And despite minor little issues, the layout looks pretty awesome. I'm loving the photography, that's for damn sure. 43 minutes may feel a bit steep in terms of the total running time, and the band hasn't quite mastered their attack, but I believe this is their first full-length outing, and it's still early. At its best, "I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die" really strikes gold (check 2:27 and beyond in "Hospital Fat Bags", that shit's god damn amazing), so I'm hoping for an increased balanced from the darker, more powerfully atmospheric side of Gaza's approach in the future, 'cause they could do some serious fuckin' damage – and already do!
Make the grab if you're down: