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American band Gaza first came to my attention a while back with their debut album I Don’t care Where I Go When I Die. That album was a very impressive take on the Botch/ Coalesce school of metal core and the band seemed adept at mixing the groove of the aforementioned bands with a thick sound and some seriously tortured vocals.
Well, Gaza has pretty much upped all levels to 11 on their follow up He is never Coming Back. The music for the most part is still chaotic metal core ala Botch and Coalesce and but if anything, the band has become even more abrasive and just really fucking heavy. The drums pound through to your skull, the vocalist sounds like he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and the guitarists just come up with heavy as fuck grooves and the occasional snatches of melody while always keeping things harsh and discordant. The band at times reaches the intensity levels of Today is the Day and the song writing chops of The Jesus Lizard while always paying attention to the groove (and there are plenty of those on He is Never Coming Back). In fact, this album makes their debut sound like a walk in the park with a gentle breeze in your face. This is not easy listening.
Bit pointless mentioning individual songs on this album as He is Never Coming Back works as a cohesive whole and I’d have to mention each of the thirteen songs on offer. Suffice to say that the band go from the heavy as fuck discordant grooves of Botch to the skewed melodic sensibility of The Jesus Lizard while channeling the harsh sounds of Today is the Day and even throw in some high quality sludge towards the end of the album.
The band mix things up on He is Never Coming Back. There’s a lot of variety on offer and all of it is of very high quality. Also, at just over thirty five minutes this is an album that will not get old and I find myself playing this way more frequently than I do most other bands of this ilk. Fans of shouty, pissed of heavy as fuck music and fans of any of the bands I’ve namedropped in this review should check out He is Never Coming Back immediately. You will not be disappointed.
Label - Metal Blade
Year of Release - 2009
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