1 ep, 2 full lengths, and visits to 14 different countries on tour all culminated in Gaza’s 3rd full length No Absolutes in Human Suffering. Their previous 2 records He is Never Coming Back and I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die both stand on their own merits as exceptional examples of heavy, mathy, abrasive, hardcore/grindcore. For how varied the music is, the lyrics also featured no shortage of vitriolic atheist messages.
For their 3rd full length Gaza took their strengths and expanded upon them. The production was improved upon which really allowed Michael Mason’s inventive guitar playing to cut through and really drive the songs. From the couple of times I met Mason, not only does he seem exceptionally cordial and bright, but if I’m not mistaken he built the guitars he used in Gaza and in his current outfit Cult Leader. Speaking of propelling the music: drummer Casey Hansen really hit his stride with his calculated, complex, parts and arrangements. The songs that make up No Absolutes shift and change in awe inspiring movements and passages.
Given this piece is meant to highlight the Mathcore genre, you can rest assured that if it’s mathy arrangements you want, No Absolutes in Human Suffering stretched the limits of what could be considered Mathcore. Take the end section of When They Beg for example. The band supplements a complex guitar line with what sounds like a 12 string guitar. The overall effect achieved is exceptionally memorable while simultaneously jarring and complex.
The Crown is thunderous sounding not unlike Botch‘s meaner older cousin only to switch 3/4’s of the way through into melodic guitar droning similar to the style the band first utilized on I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die stand out “Hospital Fat Bags.” This track stands as one of the most memorable the band created while further honing in on the hybrid of hardcore/grindcore/melodic drone that they established at the beginning of their career.
Although No Absolutes would be the final release by Gaza these words captured by Svbterranean staffer Denise sum up the final album nicely.
“Human beings have always been hell to each other and it just doesn’t seem like there’s an end to it, like a limit to how much suffering we can inflict on each other. The name of the record came from the United States being this giant, this giant that it is today, and we hold ourselves in the highest esteem, like we’re the sacred children country, but we did it all, we did everything, on the backs of the poor. The title encompasses all of that, it encompasses religious warfare and what that can do, it encompasses ethnic cleansing and what that can do, it encompasses capitalism and what that can do. So it just kind of paints people in a real light.”
“The darkest things that people are capable of doing to each other is the truth about what a human being is, versus all the pie-in-the-sky optimism and hope that that people throw all over each other. I mean, the real, tangible things are actions and the darkness is how far we’re willing to take those actions. So that’s where the title came from, kind of the four corners of pain and humanity.”