Gatecreeper – Dark Superstition

With Dark Superstition, the American death metal band Gatecreeper is already onto album number four and if we are to believe the promo sheet, this is their answer to Entombed’s Left Hand Path and Dismember’s Massive Killing Capacity. We might as well get it out there right away. This is the first time an album review of these gentlemen has appeared on Zware Metalen, and that is quite special. Gatecreeper can certainly – alongside others like Frozen Soul, Tombstoner and Venom Prison – be seen as one of the more important bands within the new wave of death metal. This provides an extra good reason to supply this new record with a review. Dark Superstition is being released via Nuclear Blast Records, whereas their earlier work came out via Relapse Records.

The change in direction from pure death metal to death with a more Scandinavian melody is immediately noticeable in the beautiful opener Dead Star. The catchy guitar parts give the song a cool In Flames-like vibe, while it still maintains a headbanging energy with powerful and inspirational riff and solo work, and furious drums. The balance between both approaches is finely tuned, so there’s never a dull moment. Mason’s very solid vocals fit the music like the glass slipper did for Cinderella, and it’s fair to say that this front man has an exceptionally good voice for this genre. During the gripping The Black Curtain, Superstitious Vision, and Flesh Habit, Gatecreeper continues this approach, delivering memorable melodic lines served on a bed of melodeath that indeed clearly leans towards the sound of Entombed.

On the opposite of that, the band offers some HM-2 chainsaw tracks of a level that guarantees a neck hernia. The dragging and dirty beginning of Masterpiece Of Chaos and the closer Tears Fall From The Sky are infectious, and as the songs progress, they come out even stronger. A Chilling Aura may start off melodically with a cheerful tune, but the colossal and uptempo pounding that follows proves otherwise. Mistaken For Dead is even rougher, with the melodic aspect almost entirely left out. Exactly at the moments where you think it’s starting to get a bit too long-winded, Gatecreeper throws in a plot twist, like a fine piece of solo work, an acceleration of tempo, or even a slowdown. When everything is perfectly funneled, it results in songs of the caliber of Oblivion. The rolling drums and roaring guitar work make it pure enjoyment for fans of old-school death metal.

Dark Superstition is a very fine album in which Gatecreeper pushes its own boundaries and simultaneously shows that a relatively new band does not have to be inferior to the great masters of the past. Whether you share this assessment will depend entirely on whether you can somewhat let go of the nostalgic feelings that arose back then. After all, the past wasn’t like the past either. This quintet successfully bridges the gap between the present and the past and can make young and older death metal enthusiasts stand side by side, shaking their heads. Calling it a modern day classic might be a bit too much, but my head on a chopping block if this record will not still be played regularly by many in a few years. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see Dark Superstition in many year-end lists. In mine for sure!

Review vertaald door Lonneke P.




Nuclear Blast Records, 2024


  1. Dead Star
  2. Oblivion
  3. The Black Curtain
  4. Masterpiece Of Chaos
  5. Superstitious Vision
  6. A Chilling Aura
  7. Caught In The Threads
  8. Flesh Habit
  9. Mistaken For Dead
  10. Tears Fall From The Sky


  • Chase H. Mason – Vocals
  • Eric Wagner – Guitar
  • Israel Garza – Guitar
  • Alex Brown – Bass guitar
  • Matt Arrebollo – Drums