RADMON ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: Deserted by Gatecreeper
Written by Jarrad Fisher
On their sophomore album, Arizona death metal five-piece Gatecreeper showcase that you can be groovy and overwhelmingly brutal at the same time.
It’s hard not to fall in love with this album from the opening title track ‘Deserted’, where a dark melodic atmosphere is established, complete with chugging power chords and haunting melodies. This opening groove gives way to lead singer Chase Mason’s demonic vocal lines. These vocals are certainly some of the best I’ve heard in death metal for quite some time. The sheer visceral energy supplied to the tracks by the raw pulsating vocals is remarkable. This is all without straying into silly death metal stereotypes - there is no cookie monster to be found on this album. This opening track establishes the overall tone of the album, one that does not overly rely on extreme speed to generate its heaviness. Instead, inspired by Obituary and Bolt Thrower’s more mid-tempo riffs, Gatecreeper supply eerie grooves that generate the most formidably evil atmosphere.
Of course, there are exceptions to this theme, most notably with my favourite track of the album, ‘Puncture Wounds’. This song speeds with some of the most ferocious guitar work on the album. The lightning-quick riffs in 'Puncture Wounds' are very hardcore/thrashy, and almost seem inspired by the split they did with crossover legends Iron Reagan a couple years back. A great way to win me over.
As a massive thrash fan, it’s slightly odd for me to be picking a death metal album as my AOTY, but the riffs on this album really hold up, and the foreboding atmosphere Gatecreeper have been able to deliver on this album is unlike anything I’ve heard all year. On their second record, Gatecreeper have really become one of the most exciting new bands in death metal. I dream of the mosh that will be had if they ever come to Australia.