• Iron Reagan/Gatecreeper - Split

    Iron Reagan/Gatecreeper - Split
    Released by: Relapse Records
    Released on: March 2nd, 2018.
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    This split release from Relapse Records pairs up Virginia’s mighty Iron Reagan, one of the best thrash acts out there these days, with Gatecreeper, an Arizona based death metal act that’s been around since 2013 or so.

    Iron Reagan goes first, kicking the album off with Warning, a two-minute rager that doesn’t see the band redefining their crossover sound at all – and that’s a good thing. Like most of their work, it’s eighties style thrash played fast and tight, the perfect mix of metal style hooks and punk attitude. The chorus – death to accountability, it’s not our problem, we failed, we’re gonna die!’ might not be the cheeriest theme but it works. Paper Shredder is next, another track that clocks in at the two-minute mark. This one isn’t quite as dark, but it’s definitely faster, a completely ripping track that just blasts ahead with no regard to the speed limit. Tony Foresta’s vocals are pretty unhinged here, more so than usual even, but it’s the guitar work from Landphil Hall and Mark Bronzino that really impresses.

    From it’s time for Take The Fall, clocking in at just over two-minutes again. Ryan Parrish’s drumming on this track probably gave the guy blisters, with Rob Skotis’ bass playing really giving this track a seriously heavy back end off of which the dueling guitars play quite nicely. Proudly Unaccountable is forty-four seconds of BLAST, over before you know it, but it sees the band doing what they do and doing it well. The Iron Reagan side of the album closes out with Burn For This, the longest track they contribute at two-minutes and twenty-five seconds. Again, no one is reinventing the wheel but it’s another notch on the band’s belt, a ballistic missile of grating, thrashing, pissed off metal/hardcore crossover complete with some great gang vocals just for the Hell of it.

    Gatecreeper’s contribution to this release starts off with Daybreak/Intro, an instrumental which is just under two minutes in length. The sound is instantly different than Iron Reagan’s, starting off with a crushing, doomy series of riffs, courtesy of Nate Garrett and Eric Wagner, over top of crashing drums from Matthew Arrebollo, strategic cymbals and some sludgy bass delivered by Sean Mears. It collides quite nicely and segues directly into Dead Inside, the second track and one that barely creeps past the three-minute mark. Here Chase Masons’ vocals start to kick in, giving things an instantly evil tone that suits the material well. The guitar work really pummels here, it’s a non-stop attack. War Has Begun is the three-and-half-minute closer, again with Mason’s vocals sounding ever so sickly, sinister and demonic, giving the track a seriously dark style complemented by some impressively technical playing from the rest of the band. It’s a fairly crushing piece, supremely heavy but at the same time, catchy in its own perverse way.