Gozu albums have always been these epic events of expertly executed exercises in the worship of the almighty riff but on Equilibrium, these Boston rawkers set the bar pretty GD high for any hard/heavy band out there who dare to try and match this in 2018. If this one doesn’t propel them to the rawk stratosphere then humanity might truly be lost.
While the song names alone are worth checking this out (There’s a song called “Manimal” on here fer chrissakes!), it’s the riffage within that’ll have listeners hanging around until the end. Just during opener “Ricky “The Steamboat” Dragon” there’s this sublime breakdown that heads towards a fitting conclusion…and then keeps going for a few bars more leading into a blistering solo from Doug Sherman before kicking back with the chorus and concluding with Marc Gaffney’s soulful delivery.
“The People vs. Mr. T” closes with a foray into hypnotic riff ecstasy and shows off how easily Mike Hubbard can be just as intense laying out a solid slow groove one moment until delivering a hearty, ramped up pummeling the next. Meanwhile, Joe Grotto is the unsung hero throughout Equilibrium as his bass work works in perfect harmony with not only Hubbard’s steady beats but also Gaffney and Sherman’s monumental shredding.
Later on, “Prison Elbows” has the mother of all riffs…no, wait! “King Cobra” does. Nope! Scratch that! “Stacy Keach” does! Ugh! How about we go with this: Equilibrium contains the mother(s) of all riffs and leave it at that, okay? If nothing else, Equilibrium proves that the Gaffney/Sherman pairing is an indisputable match made in riff rawk heaven. But getting back to “Prison Elbows”, the track is almost ethereal with the sonic landscape that’s built beyond the quartet basics of guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.
And as we get to the end of Equilibrium and epic “The Ballad of ODB”, clocking in at eleven minutes and delivering spaced out grooves building towards Gaffney’s unmistakable croon and a monolithic wall of sound, I find myself dumbfounded and speechless in the face of a truly excellent and impeccably crafted album all the way through and easily one of the greats of 2018. Run on sentences, be damned! This is a frelling phenomenal heavy record.
Equilibrium is out through Blacklight Media & Metal Blade Records on April 13th. For your convenience, Gozu has you covered in the physical and digital media department by putting all your pre-order options in one convenient place right here. For the latest Gozu news you can hit the socials like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And don’t forget that Gozu will be playing a special record release show at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston on April 21st with fellow Blacklight Media band Eyes Of The Sun, and local favorites Birnam Wood. For tickets, head here.