It's a refreshing change to hear death Metal that isn't played at a whirlwind speed, battering everything in its wake, but that doesn't mean the debut EP from 'Gatecreeper' is weak or wishy-washy, it's quite the opposite. This twelve minute, four track EP from the Arizona based death Metal quintet is crushingly good.
Style wise, it is old school death Metal, very much in the vein of Dismember, Carnage and Entombed, mid tempo, with a defined, pounding and deliberate rhythm reminiscent of the late 80s early 90s death Metal sound.
There is a strong Swedish death Metal influence there also with many of the riffs, happily, reminding me a little of the work Rogga Johansson. The drum work is good, precise and not overstated, adding to the sound and not overpowering, perfectly complementing the array of dirty riffs. The vocals are superb, raw and harsh with a distant and tortuous edge.
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All four tracks are a nice compact length, all under the three minute mark, beginning with the dirty, distorted 'Void Below' and from about midway the superb classic riffs start to emerge setting the precedent for the remaining tracks.
'Force Fed' has a superb haunting repeat riffs that forms it's backbone, and some great drum patterns garnishing the latter part, a very memorable track and there is a superb chugging repeat to 'Overdose' with a nice solo breaking out midway, adding interest and more latter part drum flourishes; an excellent track.
The final track 'Slave' has dirt pounding rhythms and an addictive riff that even takes on a bit of a dirty groove at times; superb track.
'Gatecreeper' was recorded by Ryan Bram at Homewrecker Studios in Tucson, AZ and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audioseige. The album artwork by JGA is superbly insane vision of screaming torment, a perfect reflection of the raw unfettered sound contained within.
'Gatecreeper' is a superb release, I can't fault it and it is an essential release for any old school death Metal fan to check out, stick it on repeat and enjoy. Available to listen or as a name your price purchase at https://goatprayerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gatecreeper
Or on a limited edition cassette from: http://goatprayerrecords.com/