Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Iron Reagan/Gatecreeper - Split

Two of my favorite bands on a split? Hell fuckin' yeah! It's always exciting when a truly excellent label like Relapse is able to combine the talents of a pair of excellent bands to refine something special. Iron Reagan and Gatecreeper have both really come into their own in recent years and despite the fact that Iron Reagan have really moved into full on thrash and Gatecreeper are much heavier it's still a strangely potent and effective combo - one that encourages the listener to come back and spin this record again and again.

There is a sort of hedonistic madness that defines both of these bands and which serves to make this record so fun. This is one of Iron Reagan's thrashiest offerings to date, with tracks that really push the gang vocals and the over the top nature of the band. While they haven't descended to Municipal Waste-esque solos yet, it's still a fucking hell of a ride. Meanwhile, Gatecreeper are stunning as ever. There is something in the water in Phoenix because these guys are tearing teeth out completely unrepentantly. Decimating ear drums and blasting forward it's impossible for a death metal fan to not immediately fall deeply in love with what they have done here.

This is a release that really sees two bands that I love achieving a new phase of their respective careers, be it with Iron Reagans youthful exuberance becoming ever more refined or Gatecreepers grandiose majesty and shift beyond knuckle dragging death metal, this album is important. it's the sort of record that I genuinely believe will be looked back on as something of a turning point for both groups. It's truly demented to be sure, but the kind of thing that you can't help but to love if you're in love with the crypt.

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