Written by Zax
Gatecreeper – An Unexpected Reality
Hardcore/Doom from the Sonoran Desert, USA
Released January 13th, 2021
Via Closed Casket Activities
Since 2019’s Deserted, Gatecreeper have cemented themselves as the band to watch out for, and this new surprise album confirms what we’ve been thinking for years now, Gatecreeper kicks fucking ass.
This album explores two distinctly different styles and brings out the best of both. The first 7 tracks being hardcore and the last being doom metal. It’s an odd combination, but it’s surprisingly effective, especially since this band riffs hard enough to easily conquer both. I also love the way the artwork ties in to this contrast in style. Not only is it just a gorgeous piece, but the juxtaposition of that cluster of furious explosive energy on the left with the cold and atmospheric yet snarled nature of the right is just perfection.
The hardcore on this record is short and nasty. Not a single track eclipses a minute and a half, and the guitar tone is absolutely disgusting, I mean it sounds beastly folks. The percussion is on hyperspeed, drilling out 2-steps and blastbeats galore, and the beefy guttural vocals are enough to get anyone going. Truly aggressive stuff here folks.
The soul doom track takes up over half of this album’s run time, but man is it worth it. The track is deeply atmospheric and slow, the riffs are absolutely clobbering on this cut, right up there with any full time doom act, without question. They strike the perfect balance of dreary and epic throughout the track.
It’s probably worth mentioning that this record has been subject to some internet controversy, to be honest I’m not even entirely sure what all it entails. I believe it has something to do with death metal fans being butthurt cause hardcore kids like Gatecreeper. Really just metalheads proving themselves giant fucking crybabies once again, nothing you need to really care about.
I think it’s safe to say I’d be happy seeing Gatecreeper make a full length hardcore record or a full length doom record. They pull off both styles effectively, and combining them is something not many bands have done. Can’t wait to see what this band’s future holds.