Gatecreeper - Sonoran Depravation (2016)Release ID: 13167

Gatecreeper - Sonoran Depravation (2016) Cover
UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / March 31, 2020 / Comments 0 / 0

Gatecreeper's debut full-length offers enough Swedish death metal references to please anyone sat reading this in their "...Everflowing Stream" pyjama set.  It also cemented the bands relevance in relation to other styles of death metal including some elements of crust, death/doom as well as smatterings of thrash here and there.  Upon first few listens the album sat high in my regard, more so because it blended all these elements together well and came across as fresh sounding and authentic.  On reflection, spinning back through the album for the purpose of this review its longevity is questionable.

I think this is largely due to two things.  Firstly, for an album with a lot going on in terms of styles it sounds generally the same throughout.  Tracks tend to merge into one another as a result of this, and at times it is hard to find high points on the record.  This I suspect is down to a bit of naivety in the songwriting department (so my second point) and the band trying to lavish the various influences across the record but not letting them fully develop into standout moments.  I don't make any suggestion that this is easy to achieve mind.  They are a talented bunch of guys in the band and they perform their art form well, it just needed a bit of restraint applying here and there to really let the influences shine properly.

For a nine track record it is over soon enough, clocking in at just over thirty minutes, yet it somehow feels longer like it is getting close to outstaying its welcome and your constantly looking at your watch and tapping your empty beer glass whilst yawning a lot to drop sufficient hint that the night is over for you.  It still does retain that fresh sound though with the riffs being of such high quality that they alone provide enough memorability to make up for the other structural weaknesses present on the record.  It will be interesting for me to revisit the sophomore release now I have spent some more time with this one and see if there are any obvious improvements in song structure and arrangement overall, but in conclusion the debut effort really tries fucking hard and shows a band full of work ethic but just needing to find their feet a bit more before starting to be able to truly perfect their offering.


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Sonoran Depravation
The Horde
Death Metal

Death Metal (conventional)

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