Photo Credit: Hayley Rippy
Slamming, destructive death metal champions Gatecreeper, from Tucson, Arizona, have been appropriately accepted to the roster of one of the biggest heavy metal record labels, Nuclear Blast! Their spot in the label is well-deserved being that they’ve trudged their way up the mountain from underground stardom to becoming the heavyweights of the modern death metal paradigm in less than a decade. Gatecreeper have built their discography under Deathwish and Relapse Records while also touring and releasing split EPs with bands outside of their faction; expanding their fan base in the process.
This is part of the end result of their grinding work ethic keeping them afloat in the midst of calamity—after the pandemic stuck a wrench in their gears and cancelled they would’ve been tour with Mayhem, Gatecreeper went for broke and worked in silence on their EP An Unexpected Reality (giving their fans 12 hours’ notice upon its release). The EP shows a slightly different side of Gatecreeper in that the first seven tracks are fast, punchy and short paying respects to their hardcore punk and grindcore influences, whereas the final track is a ten-minute, lumbering drudge of slow riffs paying more heed to their love of doom metal. Even the influence of its setup was derived from Black Flag’s album My War as stated by vocalist Chase Mason in Revolver magazine, in that the B side was the slow, sludgy contrast to the high velocity of the A side.
With the EP sailing on up the charts, including Billboard’s Top 40 Albums list and garnering the #1 spot on the Top New Artists Albums Chart, it is fitting that their signing to Nuclear Blast became the crowning jewel of achievement that will truly lead them into their new excursion. The band states, “We are excited to start the next chapter of Gatecreeper with Nuclear Blast. We look forward to continuing the growth of our band with Monte Conner and the rest of the label.” As a fan, I’m slotted to believe that many of their other devotees are stricken with anticipation as to where this pivot into Nuclear Blast will lead them.
You can hear/buy the EP here.