Gatecreeper - An Unexpected Reality (EP)
Closed Casket Recordings
Death Metal
8 songs (17:56)
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from Arizona, Gatecreeper are essentially hardcore kids playing Swedish-styled death metal, and have produced a couple of solid if unexciting albums clearly in thrall to the HM-2 sound. A new, brief set of songs from them is not automatically worth checking out unless you have a great deal of love for the style, so it's a pleasant surprise that An Unexpected Reality is pretty kickass! There's more influence from the grindcore realms, the first seven songs here being brief, minute-long bursts of chainsaw guitar riffs and practical d-beat backing, and each do their job well, providing snippets of aural violence that flow in and out of each other. You can tell that they were recorded in a burst of enthusiasm, feedback continuing from Rusted Gold seamlessly into Imposter Syndrome, for instance, and even the thirty-second long Amputation feels like a song in that brief, ugly way that classic Pig Destroyer and the like managed.

And then the band switch things up entirely! The eleven-minute long Emptiness switches into doom-death territory, long slow riffing building and releasing a rush of tension as a more gothic tone creeps into the riffing. It speeds up a little as it progresses, vocalist Chase doing fine work with a more despairing tone to his snarls, and a section towards the end that increases the doomy melody works fantastically. A fine EP, definitely the best thing to come from Gatecreeper to date. Great artwork, too!

Killing Songs :
Starved, Rusted Gold, Amputation, Emptiness
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