Gatecreeper
An Unexpected Reality


3.5
great

Review

by Fernando Alves STAFF
January 14th, 2021 | 134 replies


Release Date: 01/14/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unforeseen emptiness

There is no better way to kick-off the new year than to stumble upon the unexpected release of one of today's most praised death metal bands. Gatecreeper's An Unexpected Reality thus bursts in 2021 without warning, taking everyone by surprise. Vocalist Chase Mason says the social media fried our attention spans in such a way that it makes no sense to keep the audience's attention for months before the release date. I doubt this non-promotional strategy will work either in full-length releases or in bands without media exposure, however, it seems appropriate to an EP with only seventeen minutes as An Unexpected Reality, if only for the surprise it brings.

Gatecreeper's unexpected new offering is divided into two distinct parts, with the first being a seven-chapter deathgrind assault and the second an eleven-minute doom epic that will surely be regarded as one of the most iconic songs the band has ever recorded. Both segments are somewhat surprising, not because the lads are alien to either hardcore-ish or doom approaches, but for the fact that both materialize through straightforward signatures, without any kind of subtlety or stylistic fusion. The contrast between them is thus the most relevant aesthetic aspect to retain.

Neither the hardcore-ish onslaught nor the doomy 'Emptiness' bring anything new to the genre, yet both have the merit of being able to co-exist in common ground. While the former's straightforward nature highlights the ability to produce relentless deathgrind (within canons), the latter presents a more complex narrative that balances between various doom nuances. Its subtle crescendos and slow-paced fluctuations shape a melodramatic flow that drags us into a contemplative haze. The blend of funeral doom and Paradise Lost-esque gothic tones is masterfully accomplished, as well as the black metal hues that create an exciting emotional contrast in the second half of the song.

Despite its unchallenging nature, An Unexpected Reality comes as an unforeseen surprise that illustrates two realities orbiting the same core. And if these seventeen minutes are an indicator of what's to come, I can't wait to dive into 2021.



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user ratings (159)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2021


15669 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great jam, especially 'Emptiness’.

Full stream: http://gatecreeper.bandcamp.com



Digging: Evergrey - Escape of the Phoenix

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2021


23706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, great EP!

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TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2021


15669 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks buddy.

AtTheGates92
January 15th 2021


134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like my DM to be served in a bite sized format. This is great, thanks!

Ebola
January 15th 2021


3930 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review but rating too low imo. there's something about this record

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
January 15th 2021


20359 Comments


never understood how or why this band gets the press they do. one of the more boring and derivative active metal bands imo.

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Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2021


13560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yes we are : )

Digging: Stargazer (AUS) - Psychic Secretions

Morningrise767
January 15th 2021


3012 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a fun little jam this. \m/



Atari
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2021


26249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Stoked to hear this

Digging: The Hold Steady - Open Door Policy

JayEnder
January 15th 2021


9337 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was super fun. Absolutely loved the doomy closer m/

Digging: Whirr - Feels Like You

Donchivo
January 15th 2021


1139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cool band, but what Hyperion says: there are so many better modern old school cavernous DM bands out there... the hype they receive is overblown...

Digging: Traffic - On the Road

garas
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2021


5698 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Hell yes! Great read, as usual NoTrap.



I'm stuck in a replay-loop with this mini album, especially with "Emptiness". That song is simply perfect.



*waiting for DDD to join the chat*

Digging: Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2021


15669 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks garas.



"but rating too low imo. there's something about this record"

Emptiness is a solid 4, but the remaining tracks orbit 3.5 for me. It was a matter of math, I guess.



DDDeftoneDDD
January 15th 2021


15901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Emptiness is a 5/5 song if acts like Pallbearer or Bell Witch is your kind of doom. The song gets really emotional in a good way. Been spinning that song every day, twice. I really love how awkward that song displays the HM-2 pedal, which is uncommon for doom (but not for the band), the song is simple, but effective, with a uniqueness touch (without bringing anything new agreed) and ultimately beautiful (and the ending is almost BM ahah).

The other songs go hard af, although I prefer their versatility displayed on longer tracks like their last LP.



great rev tho, congrats Notrap!

Digging: The Amenta - Revelator

DDDeftoneDDD
January 15th 2021


15901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"never understood how or why this band gets the press they do. one of the more boring and derivative active metal bands imo." also on this one...I'm sure its because of the vocalist's mustache.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2021


15669 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers D

Yeah, the track dives into emotional grounds, especially when those BM vibes kick in.



Nothing beats a good mustache btw.

parksungjoon
January 15th 2021


28226 Comments


discount akerstache boo

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2021


23706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love the death'n'roll bits on the faster tracks too.

DDDeftoneDDD
January 15th 2021


15901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh me too for sure. 3.5-4 for those I think.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2021


15669 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

All tracks are great.



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