Arizona deathgrind crew Gatecreeper made a huge impact last year with their debut LP “Sonoran Depravation“, which was not only one of my favorite releases from 2016, but also, in my opinion, one of the strongest opening full length metal salvos I’ve heard from any band in quite a while. The quintet just wrapped up a tour with fellow metal gods Toxic Holocaust and Nails last month (which I sadly missed when it rolled through Philly), and just this week dropped a professionally recorded surprise release of their full set from the Cambridge, MA date, dubbed “Unleashed in the Middle East”, after the name of the venue where the show took place.
If ‘Creeper’s attack on “Sonoran…” made you think they were a new innovative voice in DM that would flourish for years to come, their live capability on “Unleashed…” will only cement that notion. The swaggering, methodical stomp of Matt Arrebollo’s drums on “Craving Flesh” and “Flamethrower” cut even deeper in the live setting, and throughout the set (which encompasses 7 of the 9 “SD” tracks) the entire band is tight and seasoned enough to betray their relative newcomer status. Vocalist Chase Mason especially brings the goods though, his dry, resonant rasp a revelation much more savage than on tape, even letting loose a blood curdling howl during “Patriarchal Grip” that I’d love to hear more of the next time these guys hit the studio.
“Unleashed in the Middle East” is a stunning snapshot of a band on the rise that manages to eclipse most at the height of their powers.
“Unleashed in the Middle East” is available now.