Saturday, August 27, 2016

Gatecreeper : "Sonoran Depravation"

They have an old school death metal feel without directly ripping off Morbid Angel or Cannibal Corpse. I can hear touches of Obituary in what they do, however they are more hammering. The members of this band are were once in either Languish or Hellhorse, so this is not their first rodeo from hell. This album is being released on Relapse , so this reflected in the production quality...and no it doesn't mean that it sounds like a Neurosis album. The production is very full with some time spent dialing in the best guitar tone possible. The album sounds so good that it is not until the second song that I begin to think about the question that I must ask all extreme metal bands....ok you are heavy, what else can you do?

The answer is a little unsure as they pick up the pace. The guitar sounds great, but it also sounds just like it did on the first two songs. The same goes for the vocals. The song takes a weird shift midway in and almost sounds like an entirely different song, though sonically the band is right where they have always been. "Rotting as One" starts off with a cool riff, but the rule around here is cool riffs alone do not make a good song. They don't let up on "Stronghold Either" , but the double bass is kicking everything into a riffy mush, that aside from the guitar harmonies is making me drone out on this as it all begins to take a rather monochrome shade.

The guitar at the beginning of "Patriarchal Grip" is doomier. The bass and drums help out by not blasting in behind and the band creates a more oppressive mood for the first minute before the double bass steams rolls them back into death metal.There is more groove in the catchier riff to "Lost Forever". The vocals are pretty much an incomprehensible growl at this point. "Flamethrower" finds it self in a similar place to the other a cool riff driving it, but nothing else to set it self apart.They finally commit to a doomy pace on the closing dirge 'Grotesque Operations". This marks the first really shift in dynamics the album sees. I'll give this album a 7, it sounds good, but doesn't expand much beyond the one trick they have mastered. If you like death metal with a single minded goal of pounding you into submission then this is for you.

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