Stream Gatecreeper’s Blistering Surprise Album An Unexpected Reality
A year and a half ago, the Arizona band Gatecreeper released Deserted, one of the finest example of old-school death metal bludgeon we’ve heard in the past few years. Today, with only a few hours of advance notice, Gatecreeper have followed Deserted up with a whole new eight-song LP called An Unexpected Reality, conceived and recorded entirely during quarantine. But Gatecreeper are quick to point out that An Unexpected Reality isn’t a full-on album. Instead, it’s something else — an LP-length experiment. Gatecreeper are on some new shit.
An Unexpected Reality is a record divided into two sides. The first seven songs are all short, fast, frantic blasts. Each of those songs is about a minute long, and all of them draw on brutalist, punk-identified subgenres like power violence and grindcore. But those songs don’t sound indulgent or experimental. Instead, they sound like a precise and ferocious band locking into a different sound and just playing the fuck out of it. Please note that there’s a song called “Superspreader” on there and that it does not sound happy.
The same thing happens on the album’s second side, but that’s a whole different sound. The last song on An Unexpected Reality is “Emptiness,” and it’s an 11-minute funeral-doom odyssey. That means it’s a huge step removed from both Gatecreeper’s regular sound and from the first side of the album. But the band plays “Emptiness” with the same brutalist force that they bring to everything else, and the result is something that absolutely crushes.
Gatecreeper frontman Chase Mason says that An Unexpected Reality is “meant to be listened to as a whole, so we didn’t wanna break it up or release a couple songs ahead of time as ‘singles’ or whatever. We also didn’t wanna treat it like it’s our next full-length. Because it’s not… This release was an opportunity to experiment and expand on different ideas within the Gatecreeper formula. It doesn’t necessarily signify a new direction for the band, but we’ll definitely have a couple new tools in our toolbox moving forward.” The whole thing fucking rips, and you can stream it below.
An Unexpected Reality is out now on Closed Casket Activities.