Hailing from Phoenix Arizona Gatecreeper after an EP and a series of splits (two coming out this year) release their debut full length on Relapse Records, a label that needs no introduction but you are well aware that when they sign a new band people take notice.
First off it has to be said that the timing off "Sonoran Depravation" couldn’t be better with Bolt Thrower recently announcing their calling it a day and with the 30th anniversary of "Reign In Blood" there is a real appetite and a mood for a meat and potatoes, cut straight to the bone album and Gatecreeper have just dropped it. Opening with the mid paced groove 'Craving Flesh' and an infectious main riff, the album eases you in nicely before dropping in to the punishing 'Sterilized' the album eases nicely between the slow and doomy and at times melodic on tracks such as 'Lost Forever' to a rip roaring shred fest on tracks like 'Desperation' which is also horrendously catchy!
With metal in some places getting ever more complex with your Obscura’s, Meshuggah’s and Opeth’s of the world (and don’t get me wrong I’m not knocking any of those bands) it is nice when a band comes out and just strips everything down. Sometimes the simple formulas are the winning ones. Sometimes a classic familiar recipe just hits the spot and that’s what Gatecreeper have done. They have delivered an album that takes the less is more approach and just places itself. It kicks ass does its job and it a lot of fun to listen to. If you are grieving Bolt Thrower, Dismember and still love obituary but miss the roadrunner years you will lap this album up. Next time around I’d like to see Gatecreeper carve out a bit of individuality and carve out a bit more of their own identity but this is a strong statement of intent in the meantime and is executed brilliantly.