Review Summary: Gaza’s debut EP gives the war in the East legs enough to come and kick you in the face, in your own home.
If you like your tunes heavier than an elephant in chainmail, this should be the next thing you buy. Over food, over water; don’t make this one wait.
Seeing as I am one of only 10 people to have rated this, you’re probably wondering who Gaza is. A grime/grindcore band from Salt Lake City, who would ‘rather throw up rubbers than go to church’. Enough said?
The first impression which comes through on the opener, Kasam Rocket, is that the opening section sounds like Mastodon’s Remission. This doesn’t last long, and Gaza proceed to stomp you into the ground with one of the heaviest releases your ears will meet.
Midway through Femur, you will find yourself looking upwards, just to be sure that the sky hasn’t fallen, and that your roof is intact. The prior section of the song, which is a more typical form of aggressive metal, is good enough in its own right. Gaza seem to then be reminded of what gets their goat enough to churn out music this heavy, and they go ballistic. The track then decrescendos in intensity, and ends with a scratchy playing of an old ballad-type song, radio style.
Once you have tilted your head back down from looking at the ceiling, you’ll find you are in the East, in more ways than just listening to the song of that title. There are pulsations of atmospheric chanting throughout this track which are affective enough to almost throw you into the skin of those soldiers fighting that hideous war; it is quite an intoxicating few minutes, and if you aren’t taken aback on first listen you should probably check your pulse.
Hospital, aptly titled, offers a reprieve from intensity. The clever little clean-guitar ditty is enough for you to stitch some wounds up, swig from your whiskey flask, and ride back into battle, on the back of Cattle.
This track offers something a little different; while not Justin Beiber’s latest hit, Cattle isn’t as devastating as most Gaza tunes. In fact, in this song exists a vocal variation. The scream develops into a kind of distorted talk, and then a shout. And then, back to a scream. Time for the best metal song I’ve ever heard.
Gristle sets out quite ordinarily; unbeknownst to the first time listener, the world will not exist at the conclusion of these four minutes. What happens in this track, with about a minute and a half remaining of the EP, is that heaviness is personified. Subwoofers seem to grow in thy pissy little earphones. It builds slowly, but it can be sensed. It is simply the heaviest, most beautiful ending to a record I’ve come across. Exemplary.
The East EP is different to the band’s following albums in one main respect; the production is more typical of an ordinary metal band, while the albums have that muddied tone which seem to give Gaza a unique sound. However, the song writing on this release is more than capable of making up for that. Plus, Gristle belongs as an album closer, and its re-done brother sits crowded in the middle of I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die.
It could be argued that this is the best Gaza release to date.