August 14, 2012 | , | 4.5

Gaza, No Absolutes in Human Suffering

Gaza: No Absolutes in Human Suffering

The last time we heard from Salt Lake City’s Gaza they were spitting in the eye of God with their critically acclaimed He Is Never Coming Back. Well, the boys are back with eleven more songs of absolute, unbridled anger in the malformed shape of No Absolutes in Human Suffering. And let me tell you. They might even be angrier than last time around, albeit with a bit more structure and a willingness to switch up the tempo here and there.

The opening cut, “Mostly Hair and Bones Now” has got to be, hands down, my favorite of the album. It encapsulates everything that I hungered for with their last full-length, but delivers so much more in such a short amount of time. The massive riffs and pin-point precision of the drums showcase a band that has grown into their own in terms of song writing and experimentation within their core sound. “This We Celebrate” is another song that echoes sounds past as is “The Truth Weighs Nothing,” a track that marks a shift toward more dynamic song structures and a matured (yet still ferocious) overall sound.

“Not With All the Hope in the World” is just as desolate and cold sounding as it’s title would imply. There is nothing warm, comforting or subtle about this band. From here on in, they deliver their furious grind with a fluidity between tempo shifts that wasn’t present on He Is Never Coming Back. John Parkins’ self-abusive, vocal-chord shredding screams and growls are just as powerful as ever and make you cringe at the possible long-term damage he’s inflicting upon himself to make is point known. The dynamic jumps in tempo and more open presentation continues on the ever-shifting “The Vipers.” The title track, with it’s monolithic riffs and bleak atmosphere, never really develops beyond that of an interlude and I’ve got no problem with that. This is a dark and foreboding song that speaks volumes with it’s relative simplicity.

The back half of the album, that features the thunderous “The Crown,” the mid-tempo bulldozing duo of “When They Beg” and “Winter in Her Blood,” as well as the more experimental “Skull Trophy,” a song that’s got some seriously rumbling bass throughout it and a more expansive sound. Album closer, “Routine and Then Death,” sounds like the script to the lives of a vast majority of people on this planet.

Man, No Absolutes in Human Suffering is one of those albums that unleashes unholy hell with a fury, but still manages to deliver a well-structured experience that simply builds upon itself each and every time you hear it. Gaza are angry as fuck and they do very little to hide their emotions which only makes the album that more effective. This is easily one of the best albums I’ve heard in 2012.