Gaza / Job for a Cowboy / Whitechapel The Opera House, Toronto ON May 1

Gaza / Job for a Cowboy / Whitechapel The Opera House, Toronto ON May 1
It's been long overdue, but the mighty Gaza finally made their way up to Canada for the first time ever. It was thanks to a North American tour with Arizona's Job for a Cowboy and Tennessee's Whitechapel that the quartet, who hail from Salt Lake City, UT, managed to make the trek.

Although they were the outsiders on the deathcore bill, it didn't faze Gaza. They did what they do best and played a dark, raw and awesomely disgusting mix of hardcore and grindcore laced with blunt anti-religious sentiments and honest challenges to the sociopolitical status quo.

The under-the-radar band tore into a furry of aggressive and brooding noise as soon as they hit the stage, starting with the cutting, groove-laden "He Is Never Coming Back" from their latest release of the same name. The tone of their performance was set as soon as the hooded, ominous-looking 6'7" vocalist, Jon Parkin, took the mic and screamed the song's opening hate-filled lyrics.

Parkin, who is a genuine and personable nice guy, completely transformed onstage; he exorcized his lyrics with more anger and frustration than thought possible, matching perfectly with the rest of the band's instrumental clamour. Gaza loaded their short set with tracks from their two full-length releases, including the fantastically grimy "Calf" and the incessantly dissonant "Sire" from their 2006 debut album, I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die.

Although their set was over way too soon, Gaza certainly left a big impression. Dropped jaws and floored expressions were aplenty among those who didn't know what was coming. But for the few who knew what to expect, Gaza not only lived up to but thoroughly surpassed expectations.

Oh yeah, and then Whitechapel and Job for a Cowboy played. But after the insane mind fuck that was Gaza's ripping performance, who the hell even cares?