Review Summary: Gozu at their heaviest so far.
Gozu’s first offering in five years gathered some of the heaviest songs in their catalog so far. The stoner metal act has always been a reliable source of pumping riffs and dirty grooves with smooth vocals. Mainly inspired by movies, actors and wrestlers, Remedy
wastes no time bursting in with the stomping “Tom Cruise Control”. Pounding drums and cascading guitars push forward, whereas Mark Gaffney’s swinging croons tag along. “CLDZ” follows with scorching distortion, juicy solos, as well as a slow burning coda. Right from the beginning, it’s clear the band were set to craft a huge sounding record. Most of the time, they achieve it, while the mostly clean vocals provide a welcomed contrast. No time to catch your breath as you are bombarded by the raucous riffage of “Joe Don Baker” & the mid-tempo grind on “Pillow Talk”. The former’s shorter length works wonders on maintaining its punch that, at times, loses some of its impact on the longer cuts. The latter, however, nicely blends melodic parts and solos with hard hitting ones.
As we reach the second half of Remedy
, we’re slowly drowned in heavier progressions. “Ben Gazzara Loves No One” kicks down doors with the main riff, complete with Gaffney’s raspy delivery and a cool change of pace towards the end. Meanwhile, album closer “The Handler” is the most doom oriented track here, its trudging pace and slow build-up come a bit across as unexpected. Halfway through, things turn faster and I enjoy the way they blended the voice in the mix, like a synth to drone on. The Josh Homme-like falsettos Mark includes, again balance things out. This is one notable strength in Gozu’s music. It’s never too testosteroney, even when the songs are at their heaviest, the vocals keep a certain mildness or playful approach. If there is one thing to comment, Remedy
might have benefitted from a few low key moments. “Ash” comes closest, still, it ultimately relies on brick heavy guitar attacks. Nevertheless, we received great songs overall, each with its own groove and an ultra-tight performance. This is an album that reaches beyond the stoner sphere, expanding the band’s horizons into the metal territory.