Sonoran Depravation is the debut full length by Gatecreeper, and what a hell of a debut it is. The fiery HM-2 pedal assault is similar to other acts in the metal and hardcore spectrum, a few of which are listed in the related artists. What helps distinguish Gatecreeper's sound from some of those bands is a heavy lean towards the metal spectrum, forgoing the typical hardcore chugging breakdowns.

Opener "Craving Flesh" is an all encompassing display of what to expect on the album. A buzzsaw toned wall of guitar dominate the sonic landscape, while the vocals are guttural and aggressive. The bass is more felt than actually heard, but like most bass tones in heavy music, you would miss it if it were gone. The track ends in a slow and sludgy breakdown that is reminiscent of something Black Breath might throw down. "Sterilizing" keeps the aural assault going with a fast paced, double kick drum intro that greatly contrasts the slower tempo riffage that comprises a majority of the track. One of the greater headbang inducing riffs can be found at the tail end of this track.

"Lost Forever" trudges along at a slower pace, and is led by a heavy, palm muted down picking riff that is literally still stuck in my head. Sonoran Depravation's finale, "Grotesque Operations", begins with two thunderous tom hits before exploding into a slow and menacing riff. The guitar harmonies make the riff sound even more sinister, and that's why we all love metal right? The track has brief moments of uptempo madness, but ultimately maintains the slow and brooding feel first heard in the introduction. Lastly, the song fades out over the course of a minute, leaving more to be desired by the listener.

Overall, fans of the aforementioned bands will be more than happy to accept Gatecreeper into their music libraries. It's easy to criticize band's that rely on the HM-2 pedal to craft their guitar tone, as the guitar tone can only vary so much. However, the lack of "core" in the band's sound helps distinguish themselves amongst their peers. Sonoran Depravation is available now via Relapse. Stream the album opener "Craving Flesh" below: