Review Summary: Gozu pack a punch with their sophomore album delivering heavy rock that crushes with blistering riffs as much as shimmers with haunting melodies.
Gozu have already gained proper recognition for their debut Locust Season
released three years ago. Bostonian quartet's expertly performed brand of stoner rock juxtaposed corpulent riffs with soulful melodies, manifesting its unflagging energy in stellar songwriting rather than unfocused jamming. Eagerly anticipated, The Fury Of A Patient Man
follows suit and in the process lives up to its title derived from John Dryden's quote. Even though the foursome doesn't really ditch their inclination to tackle adventurous dynamics, the LP feels more accessible than their coveted first full-length packing an equally powerful punch.
The group's sound still revolves around Barry Spillberg's vibrant drumming and Doug Sherman's rollicking riffs which largely settle on permeating groove, but also make for various tempo changes. Aside from densely layered, monolithic onslaughts, there are moments on the album when his playing seems more restrained. “Charles Bronson Pinchot” may recall High On Fire in its relentless trash metal brutality, yet its second half drifts into contemplative atmospherics that have much more in common with post-metal. On the other hand, “Disco Related Injury” benefits from a sudden shift midway through trading bluesy guitar leads for ultra-thick sections with aplomb. The track also brims with soul-echoing vocals of Marc Gaffney, which range from ferocious to wrenchingly emotional. Gaff's penchant for melody has been evident previously, yet his contribution on the new album is often riddled with personal undertones and vulnerability which clearly distinguishes Gozu from their peers.
In comparison with the outfit's debut, the highlights on The Fury Of A Patient Man
happen to be even more apparent. “Irish Dart Fight” is an absolute delight and the band's most representative track whose transition from a playful build-up to a blissful, wailing guitar-driven chorus is nothing short of perfect. “Salty Thump” stands out with its joyous, sleaze rock arrangement, being the most hook-laden track on the disc. In contrast, ominous “Ghost Wipe” is an exemplary exercise in releasing tension due to Gaff's infectiously unstable vocals giving way to Sherman's monstrous guitar leads and yet another unforgettable chorus. Although Gozu are at their best when they indulge themselves in short tunes based on massive hooks, they don't totally steer clear of experimentation. Lifted from their self-titled EP, “Traci Lords” contrasts their catchy style with distressing drone that also propels the record's expansive, instrumental closer.
The Fury Of A Patient Man
raises the bar incredibly high for every notable stoner rock band that's planning to release an album this year. Its undeniable allure chiefly lies in the foursome's approach to songcraft that superbly balances blistering riffs with haunting melodies. Therefore, these songs are deemed to be embraced not only by ardent heavy rock fans, but also more mainstream listeners. Gozu are still in the course of perfecting and adding new elements to their style though. If they manage to make their presentation even more consistent next time, then their following record may be their magnum opus.