Gatecreeper – “Deserted” (Relapse Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Awesome – duly impressed by these Arizona death metallers upon their 2016 debut release “Sonoran Depravation”, I’m glad to say that it’s follow up is even more intense!! Mixing the best of British, Swedish and US old school death metal into one formidable package, you can literally feel the weight on “Deserted”, with its 10 shit heavy tracks bursting at the seams with dirty thick riffs awash with massive Boss HM-2 reverberations. Add in Metal Mike’s colossal drumming and Chase Mason’s soul wrenching roars and you’ve got an absolute winner here. More than that though, the songs are highly memorable with the band’s ferocity being matched by its composing finesse felt throughout the album throat generous hooks, catchy grooves and a host of evil and dark melodies! Whether its on ‘Puncture Wounds’ with its wailing guitars, pummelling drums and most of all, those impressive fast moving riffs, or the slow crushing power of ‘Ruthless’, whose grinding riffs and pistoning drums create a truly breathtaking maelstrom, Gatecreeper serve up the goods time and again commendably on this sophomore. For the more groovy, then ‘Barbaric Pleasures’ brings back all the glory days of Swe-deth during the 90s with plenty of twists and turns but all hugely catchy while the warbling Sabbathy darkness in ‘Sweltering Madness’ vividly contrasted by screaming guitars and Mason’s primal roars definitely sticks in the mind. Closing with ‘Absence Of Light’, whose melancholic tones take you right back to Paradise Lost’s “Icon”, complete with gothy guitars but still exuding the distortion only prove in conclusion what an incredible band Gatecreeper are. If you want to feel the brutal love of Dismember, Obituary and Bolt Thrower once again in all their glory – and in one syrup thick shake – then feel the solace of being “Deserted”.