Continuing where 2009s He Is Never Coming Back left off, Gaza move forward as a band whilst remaining true to their core values as a dangerous and destructive entity. No Absolutes in Human Suffering is a monumental and much matured work, with Gaza finding their space as a group with something important to say whilst focusing their aggression in a more balanced way. Songs have a direction and words are laced with venom and spite and whilst He Is Never Coming Back was indeed a devastating record, No Absolutes.... raises the bar significantly higher.
Angular spills of guitar force “Mostly Hair and Bones Now” into ever more extreme territory, the mathcore elements of the music giving it a raw and technical feel whilst Jon Parkin’s impassioned vocal breathes a commanding presence into the words spat out with utter disgust. Sludge-esque sounds make their way into “This We Celebrate,” the long drawn out wails on guitar and deep crashes of bass writhing with a torturous agony. A deeply affecting and quite moving melody falls into place towards the end of this second track before a catastrophic burst of energy launches the record forward into the fury laden scorn of “The Truth Weighs Nothing.”
Lightning quick pace is the order of the day here and tracks run into each other with wild abandon yet there’s an evident cohesion – you can see where Gaza are going, where they’ve been and what they want to say. Yes, this is anger in a musical essence, but Gaza never lose sight of their goal – which is to disgust via pure fucking hate. Dissonant structures flitter between cruel and malicious guitar work and the drum lines fill the minimal leftover space with excruciating rage. The title track is so occupied with its message of torment that “No Absolutes in Human Suffering” are the only words heard throughout, each time Parkin sounds more and more sure of his intent and it’s testament to Gaza’s strength that it holds a powerful claim on the senses with every throaty scream.
“Routine and Then Death” closes No Absolutes.... on a sickeningly sludge-driven note. Doomed from the outset, this track forges a path of annihilation with a slow and purposeful momentum which soon segues into a calm mid-section that echoes with a graceful beauty whilst progressing to an ethereal end. This antithetical approach serves to show Gaza in a new light, that anger is their core but they are able to work through it methodically before reaching peace. How long that serenity lasts for is anyone’s guess, but it will be interesting to see what Gaza does next.
8.5 / 10
Following an impressive debut album is never an easy undertaking, and Gaza did deliver an impressive debut with I Dont Care Where I Go When I Die. So with that ...
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