Tucson, Arizona’s Gatecreeper are the latest band to find their way onto the mighty Relapse Records, and the three year wait from their debut Sonoran Depravation is going to be worth it. Deserted is out on the 4th of October, and is a tribute to the classic Florida and Swedish death metal scenes.
The riffs that open the title track, and open the record, immediately conjures up a feeling of nostalgia for the 90s. The guitar tone is a thing of ancient beauty, the simple chunky riffing, the guttural roar; it is all a certain kind of magic. Kurt Ballou’s production renders everything in a wonderful crispness, despite the guitars insistence on sound like a saw tearing through flesh. There is a certain majesty to the doomy riffing of From The Ashes, and you’ll find this regularly on Deserted, that the band do not just tear ahead at all times. Gatecreeper draw heavily from the Obituary school of Floridian death metal, and the Slowly We Rot-esque thunder of Ruthless is a perfect example.
The riffs that open the title track, and open the record, immediately conjures up a feeling of nostalgia for the 90s. The guitar tone is a thing of ancient beauty…
Why no one has really nailed an ‘Entombed playing Obituary songs’ like this before blows my mind. It seems so obvious in retrospect. I suppose because it isn’t just as simple as that. There are so many little elements playing their part here, from the sludgey trudge of the behemoth Sweltering Madness with its maddening guitar solos to the early Paradise Lost-esque majesty of closer Absence Of Light. The true greatness of Deserted is to be found in the song writing, where such an overwrought genre feels fresh and exciting again.
In a world where old school death metal bands are ten a penny, and the injection of lumbering doom is even more common, Gatecreeper have a sound that pays homage to an iconic past but yet creative enough to never feel boring or trite. Deserted is as modern and cutting edge a take on this particular genre as you’ll find and it’s a decadent experience.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson