Gaza - I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die
Black Market Activities
10 songs (42:58)
Release year: 2006
Official MySpace, Black Market Activities
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

Gaza is a band that was completely unknown to me up until about a few weeks ago when they were mentioned in the requests thread. It sounded like something I might be interested in, so I found the band's second album and their Black Market Activities debut, I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die. The title has an interesting sort of existentialist attitude, which made me want to know more about the band. Formed in Utah, these guys have been trying to get their message of free thought out their since the early 2000s. Their music is filled with rage, but also melancholy, despair, and even a sense of the calm and peaceful. The melodies they weave into their hardcore/grindcore style of music makes it catchy and thoughtful while also staying quite brutal, something difficult to pull off.

The first thing to understand is that there is a lot going on this album, with many influences and styles being brought together. The first track, Calf, at least begins with a definitive dissonant riff and heavy bass that sets things moving in the right direction. Short and to the point, this is a decent first song and gives you some idea of what to expect from the rest of the album. Heavy guitars and drums smash everything in their path, while the rage filled screams and growls of Jon Parkin tear at your ears. Quite a catchy song however, and the reverbed guitar adds some nice atmosphere towards the end. The title track comes on next and starts out a bit more intense, showing off some more of the bands technical skill and preparing to combine this with the next song. Hospital Fat Bags is an epic length track that seems to be the band showing how many emotions they can cram into one song, and hence it is probably the most varied song on the album. There's anger at one end of the spectrum and serenity at the other. Lots of simple, rolling guitar notes towards the middle and end of the song. It doesn't sound much at all like grindcore, more like melodic metal with some hardcore elements. I like the idea, but the execution takes a bit too long and can start to get boring after hearing the same guitar riffs 10 times in a row. It's fine if you're just driving around with it on or have it as background music. I’d say the song would even be able to be split into two halves, with the more aggressive first half transitioning into the calmer second. Gristle brings in some groovy riffs and bass, accentuated by the screams of Parkin. The following few songs continue this wave of aggression mixed with weird, dissonant melodies, like some sort of nightmare soundtrack. The roiling bass of Tino Lucero definitely adds a lot to this atmosphere.

This album has many different things going on in it, and they don't always go together very well. The songs do stay relatively consistent in terms of sound, but there are a lot of changing tempos which can make it difficult to tell when one song ends and another begins. However that is not always a bad thing if you just want one long stream of violence. Moth is another catchy and listenable song, with interesting guitar work and only slightly getting into breakdowns, keeping things flowing nicely. It's songs like this that almost make me call these guys more metalcore than anything else, though grind can definitely be heard. Most of the time you're getting standard metal riffs tweaked to give them more of a hardcore edge. Take Cult for example; plenty of chugging death metal riffs in the background with hardcore leads from Mike Mason. The final track, Pork Finder, rounds the album out with a lot of complex technical work and unrelenting hostility in the form of crushing riffs and blasting drumwork from Casey Hansen.

If you want some music that gets very aggressive, but also shows more of a slower, softer side at times, Gaza may be the band for you. The lyrics, as far as I can tell, revolve mostly around anti-religious themes and societal problems, but if that's not your thing don't worry about it because you'll rarely be able to decipher the raw growls of Parkin. I think the key idea here is creating a sound that can make people feel some type of emotion, whether it is rage, despair, or something else. Overall this is a solid album with plenty to like about it if technical, intense grindcore is something you enjoy.

Killing Songs :
Calf, Hospital Fat Bags, Moth, Pork Finder
Khelek quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Gaza that we have reviewed:
Gaza - No Absolutes in Human Suffering reviewed by Koeppe and quoted 85 / 100
Gaza - He Is Never Coming Back reviewed by Khelek and quoted 82 / 100
2 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:12 pm
View and Post comments