Urgent times call for urgent music, and Gatecreeper have given us just that with their new record An Unexpected Reality, announced just yesterday and now released in full.

[UPDATE: grab it on neon magenta & black vinyl]

It's a brief record -- longer than a typical EP but the band isn't considering it a full-length -- that was entirely written and recorded during the pandemic, and it's split into two distinct halves. Side one pushes Gatecreeper's sound in a faster direction than ever before, with seven tracks that clock in around or under a minute each and dive further into grind, punk, and hardcore than Gatecreeper ever have before. "We usually have a hard rule in Gatecreeper that we don’t have blast beats," vocalist Chase Mason says. "But for the first side of this record we lifted that rule and ran with it." Chase cites such influences as Napalm Death, Totalitär, Terrorizer and Master for side one, and that should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect, but Gatecreeper don't just regurgitate those influences. They make it their own and the result is the most fired-up, whiplash-inducing music they've ever written.

Side two pushes their sound to the opposite extreme, with one long 11-minute death-doom song that Chase says was inspired by Mournful Congregation, Paradise Lost, Evoken and Katatonia. Gatecreeper have hinted at doomier stuff before, but they've never embraced it as fully as they do here, and they prove to sound just as intense when they're ultra-slow as they do when they're ultra fast.

Chase also adds that the concept of the album was inspired by Black Flag's groundbreaking My War, which had fast hardcore songs on side one and slower songs that helped pioneer sludge metal on side two. "When I was getting really into sludge and stoner metal like the Melvins and Eyehategod, they always referenced the B-side of My War," Chase said. "Hearing bands talk about not just a record but a specific side of a record, I thought that was really cool and it always stuck with me."

Listen to the whole thing below and pick up physical copies from Closed Casket Activities.

Tracklist
"Starved"
"Sick of Being Sober"
"Rusted Gold"
"Imposter Syndrome"
"Amputation"
"Depraved Not Deprived"
"Superspreader"
"Emptiness"