Iron Reagan/Gatecreeper – Split (Review)

Iron Reagan GatecreeperThis is a split release between these two US bands. Iron Reagan play crossover thrash/hardcore and Gatecreeper play old-school death metal.

The split opens with Iron Reagan, who offer up 10 minutes of their particular brand of crossover mayhem.

Although this kind of thing is not always my cup of tea, Iron Reagan do what they do very well, (see The Tyranny of Will and Crossover Ministry, for examples), and I find I enjoy their work more than I normally do for this kind of music. This is at least partially due to the fact that their music can, (but not always), lean more to the hardcore side than the thrash one, which they do particularly well.

The five songs that make up Iron Reagan’s riotous side of the split are as enjoyable boisterous as anything they’ve produced. Fast and furious, this is energetic and enjoyably barbed.

The band’s speed/thrash metal elements are fused with punk attitude and a decent amount of melody. As I say, I like Iron Reagan, but I find their stuff to be at its best when they’re pushed for time. As such, I think my favourite track on this split is probably¬†Proudly Unaccountable; lasting under a minute it’s a satisfyingly brief slab of spiky punk aggression.

Iron Reagan’s old-school intensity is captured perfectly by a punchy, heavy recording, and this is an extremely respectable way to spend 10 minutes.

After this we’re treated to 8 minutes of Gatecreeper’s delightfully crushing old-school carnage. I hugely enjoyed the band’s 2016 debut album Sonoran Depravation, and the band’s material on this split is just as top-notch.

Opening with an infectious intro track that recalls Bolt Thrower at their finest, the three tracks that constitute Gatecreeper’s offering to the war metal gods on this split are extremely satisfy exemplars of the style. Destroying all enemies with a sound like rolling tank treads, this is music that demolishes everything in its path like it wasn’t even there.

I quite enjoy some old-school death metal at the best of times, but Gatecreeper manage to play it in such a disarmingly authentic and enjoyable way that I can’t help but really take a shine to everything they do. Their work can be surprisingly catchy and memorable too, whether this is a particular riff, a brief melody, or the vocal patterns of the monster that roars for them.

With a total duration of under 20 minutes there’s not a lot to dislike here. Both bands are very good at what they do, and they both come over extremely well on this split release. Make sure you check this out.

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