Gaza – No Absolutes in Human Suffering

Last Monday, after rehearsing some new material, my bandmates and I started discussing possibilities for our new band name. What word – or combination of words – would be a perfect descriptor of our music? We gave examples of our favourite names: CursedBaring Teeth, and New Lows came to mind first. Gaza, on the other hand, stuck out as a somewhat goofy name – this same name coming from a band with the albums I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die and He Is Never Coming Back in their back catalogue. And yet, Gaza’s music has always given the name a certain level of description that the word doesn’t on its own. Yes, there is history and basic knowledge that comes with the word ‘Gaza’, but its relevance to the music isn’t immediately apparent.

No Absolutes in Human Suffering needs no description – its honest brutality is exactly what the music speaks to. Jon Parkin is one of the best vocalists in metal; his desperate delivery of his lyrics – which are never sugarcoated, making their message of “fuck everything” that much easier to grasp and digest – has always been a focal point on Gaza’s records, but the crucial role he plays is even more evident on No Absolutes. He is the backbone and consistency in this otherwise chaotic music that you partake in, which compliments his lyrical depiction of the world we live in – there is consistency amongst the chaos, but the consistency is part of the chaos.

It is obvious that No Absolutes demonstrates a band on the top of their game, but where this record sets itself apart from previous releases is in the production. The Salt Lake City foursome teamed up with Kurt Ballou to record the album, and if anything was missing from the band’s previous work, it was top notch production that would compliment their heavy, dissonant mathcore. Every release that Ballou touches ends up a brilliant piece of work, and this is no different.

After all of this, what you have in the end, is one of the year’s most important releases – bleak, brutal, and chaotic. Just like the world we live in.

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