Arizona death metal unit Gatecreeper (the same band Post Malone wore a shirt of onstage) wrote and recorded an album from start to finish all within the pandemic era. An Unexpected Reality, their new eight-track offering, comes out tomorrow (Jan. 13).

Don't think of this as just an ordinary album though, whether or not it was written amidst a worldwide pandemic. An Unexpected Reality is not simply the follow-up to 2019's Deserted and instead is an exploratory offshoot release that finds the band exploring polarizing elements of metal on each half of the record.

The first seven tracks are roughly one minute in length apiece and are of the grindcore ethos while the final song, "Emptiness," is an 11-minute ode to the band's love of funeral doom.

"I've had the idea to do a record like this for a while," said singer Chase Mason. "In 2020, we were supposed to be touring all year. Once everything got cancelled, we decided it was the perfect time to turn this idea into a reality," he continued. "This release was an opportunity to experiment and expand on different ideas within the Gatecreeper formula. It doesn't necessarily signify a new direction for the band, but we'll definitely have a couple new tools in our toolbox moving forward."

It's the first time Gatecreeper have played blast beats on an album, a rule Mason said they intentionally lifted for this record, and the polarizing fast and slow elements were inspired, in part by the sequencing of Black Flag's My War.

"When I was getting really into sludge and stoner metal like the Melvins and Eyehategod, they always referenced the B-side of ​My War​," Mason relayed. "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."

Offering a bit more insight into writing and recording in a pandemic, Mason explained, "That song was written when Arizona was the number one COVID hotspot in the world. The whole record was actually recorded during that time as well."

Get your copy of An Unexpected Reality here, out on Closed Casket Activities, and view the album art and track listing below.

Gatecreeper, An Unexpected Reality Album Art + Track Listing

Closed Casket Activities
Closed Casket Activities

01. "Starved"
02. "Sick of Being Sober"
03. "Rusted Gold"
04. "Imposter Syndrome"
05. "Amputation"
06. "Depraved Not Deprived"
07. "Superspreader"
08. "Emptiness"

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