AlbumsMay 12, 20243,498 views

Gatecreeper Dark Superstition


Dark Superstition
1. Dead Star 2. Oblivion 3. The Black Curtain 4. Masterpiece of Chaos 5. Superstitious Vision 6. A Chilling Aura 7. Caught In The Treads 8. Flesh Habit 9. Mistaken For Dead 10. Tears Fall From The Sky
2024 Nuclear Blast Records
Our score 9

by Pete
5/12/2024

Five years is a long time for a band like Gatecreeper to go between full-length records. Sure, they appeared on that split with Exhumed and released their blistering (except for that 11-minute closer) EP An Unexpected Reality but five years for a band on the rise like them is a bit long for my tastes. Thankfully the wait is over and Dark Superstition delivers both what we might expect and some new surprises.

Gatecreeper

Considering the makeup of this album, you can’t help but expect something awesome given that the band took on Dismember’s Fred Etsby to co-produce and Kurt Ballou at God City Studios to record and mix the record…and let’s not forget that these guys have been developing their songwriting and perfecting their sound with each release. Loads of bands have paid homage to the Swedish lords and torchbearers of the HM2, but there’s something about how Gatecreeper composes their sound that just hits like goddamn brick to the face and simultaneously drag you down into the muck deeper than other bands. The guitars are plenty “chainsaw-ish”, the drums are forward in the mix and are glued in place by a deep bass sound. All the sonic choices really tee up Chase Mason’s vocal performance; you’re able to take in the lyrics more than previous albums and his effort really shines on the album.

“Dead Star” throws the first curve-ball for listeners when compared to their previous albums and that’s a damned good thing.  From the first few seconds, you’re greeted by an infectiously melodic riff and the song doesn’t let up. In fact, the whole record continues to not only pummel away at your ears, but it gets stuck in your head. “Caught in the Treads” is another example of keeping one foot planted in “their” sound, and one in the Etsby/Dismember style, and frankly it just…works. (that whole track runs you over like a fucking tank would indeed) Emerging suddenly from the depths of the Superstition Mountains itself and leaning more towards Entombed’s Death n’ Roll sound, “Dark Curtain” is rock n roll in its delivery; the melodies continue to hook into your brain. This track shows even more that the band is taking chances with their music.

Now it could be argued that working with one of the greats of Swedish death metal will leave a serious imprint on the music and could be perceived to some people, as if the band wanted someone to help them crank out another record and have a big name attached to it. But this is where it can be argued that Gatecreeper brought in an outside producer to help get out of their comfort zone a bit; to challenge themselves to grow more as songwriters and this is where they differ from a lot of their contemporaries. Gatecreeper has shown a willingness to evolve their songwriting but retain their core sound. Case in point, “Masterpiece of Chaos” not only sounds like the purest distillate of evil, but it transitions from mid-tempo ass-beating to a barrage of blast beats and furious double-kick patterns, reminding you of what Gatecreeper has done very well from the start.

Bottom Line:  When you take a step back and look at the album it’s undeniably a Gatecreeper record. You’re met with the familiar grimy Swedish HM2 guitar riffs, the production suits the bands songwriting well, and the songs focus on the grim, the mysterious and the darker aspects of existence. But incorporating new songwriting methods on top of their well-defined sound adds up to an utterly fantastic record.

 


19 comments

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anonymous 15 days ago

Looks more like Platecreeper

anonymous 15 days ago

If it is "massively better than Zulu", then why is the score not a 10? Y'all need to work on a cohesive rating scale.

easyhateoven 15 days ago

killer band/album

anonymous 15 days ago

Zulu catching strays lmaoooo

anonymous 15 days ago

Aw cool, this one looks good. Great review.

rick____tocchet 15 days ago

Zulu sucks. Whoever reviewed that and gave it a 9 needs to be fired and banned off the internet and the review needs to be deleted forever.

anonymous 15 days ago

It's the mustache, isn't it?

anonymous 15 days ago

Gatecreeper, more like GAYtecreeper, am I right? Because gay?

anonymous 15 days ago

the way y'all just hand out 9's is f*cking insane

anonymous 15 days ago

Wow a Zulu 9, but better?! So a 10? The scoring system really confuses me. Maybe I'm just retarded.

Zortslob 15 days ago

Gratecreeper dark supersquishy

lake_flaccid 14 days ago

Knew this album would be good from the first track. Excited to hear it all come together.

anonymous 12 days ago

This is seriously the best metal album of the year and quite frankly, the best metal album in quite some time!

anonymous 11 days ago

First song on the album gave me real An Ocean Between Us era AILD vibes, but with a *blegh* for good measure. Really interesting stuff actually. Stoked to listen through a couple more times.

anonymous 11 days ago

Gaped Weener

anonymous 8 days ago

This is a 6 at best. Took everything that was good about the band and turned it into a bunch of melodic pussy riffs.

anonymous 8 days ago

Great more run-of-the-mill wannabe swedish dm Solution: start with left hand path, slaughter of the soul and massive killing capacity

rick____tocchet 6 days ago

Ive listened to this album about 4 times now. While it is their best release since their first full length. This shit is no where close to a 9. Its a strong 6.5 at the most. Whoever reviewed this needs their f*cking ears checked.

lake_flaccid 6 days ago

Their best album yet, it f*ckin slaps.