In their latest release Gatecreeper proved for once and for all that quality does not in fact equal quantity. In just under 18 minutes the Arizona death metal outfit manages to unleash some of the best hardcore-tinged death metal around. Sporting a track lineup with only one song over 1:30, An Unexpected Reality scorches through every style a Gatecreeper fan could hope for, from riffy two steps, to slow crushing sludge.
An Unexpected Reality opens with the punishing song “Starved”. This track gives the listener zero time to prepare as an immediate bombardment of blasts and throaty bellowing crash through the speakers before swiftly transitioning into a groovy two step; all in the first ten seconds. “Starved” then resumes the blast with more deliberate vocals over it, before effortlessly switching into a blistering punk beat perfect for circle pitting.
That was the first thirty seconds of the record. The following six tracks continue the fast unrelenting drums and shredding guitar riffs, bounding from extreme style to style giving no time to sit back and breathe.
This onslaught of extremity only lasts for a brief seven minutes. With the longest track on the front half coming in at 1:11, listeners can hear the majority of the album rush by in what feels like a breath amidst all the adrenaline it stirs. The EP comes to a crushing and sudden halt at it’s final track, as if the rest of the record was simply a frantic buildup. “Emptiness” is Gatecreeper’s coup de gras to the track list a sludgy eleven-minute track with sledgehammering guitars and anguished vocals. “Emptiness”, despite its doomy nature, carries half the EP’s worth of dynamic just at a slower pace, and provides an outlet for the built up energy from the first half of the record.
With An Unexpected Reality, Gatecreeper managed to vacuum pack an enormous amount of why the metal community loves the genre into 18 minutes, and did it all with unrelenting ferocity and a unique style. If this is the future of extreme metal releases I’d be fine never having to sit through an hour long LP ever again.
Gatecreeper‘s new EP An Unexpected Reality was surprise-released on January 13th via Closed Casket Activities.
Standout tracks: Emptiness, Rusted Gold