Contrasting Styles Produce Great Results
Iron Reagan and Gatecreeper join forces for a tag team release on Split. While this is a concept that is relatively unique for this day and age, both bands put in a great deal of effort on this LP. The bands split up the album, with Iron Reagan and Gatecreeper each getting their own songs. Out of the eight tracks on this album, Gatecreeper only has three, which is understandable considering that Iron Reagan is perhaps the more popular of the two groups.
Although their styles differ, this LP manages to be an exhilarating ride at every stop. Iron Reagan’s fast, thrashy style is capped off with Gatecreeper’s groovy doom metal in an eclectic collection. From the get-go, Iron Reagan’s portion is a continuation of everything they’ve done in the past: short, to the point and relentless.
One of the previously released singles, “Warning,” starts the album off in a fiery fashion. The song begins with a classic Iron Reagan thrash and ends with a groovy rhythm change, signaling the great potential of Iron Reagan to keep things fresh while churning out traditional thrash metal. The next song, “Paper Shredder,” might be the best on the whole LP, as it once again delivers on pointed and aggressive song structure, yet transforms midway through into a dastardly catchy rhythm. The track is two minutes of perfect thrash and it is well worth a listen.
The other Iron Reagan tracks follow in suit, but given that they contain structure changes and are short and snackable, they don’t feel repetitive. “Burn for This” has a hard-hitting chorus and “Proudly Unaccountable” is a quick treat.
The album then enters into Gatecreeper territory, using “Daybreak” as a transitional piece. The other two Gatecreeper songs present a contrast to the first six tracks on Split as they excel in providing doom and gloom with slower instrumentation and rough vocals. “Dead Inside” is the highlight here, as it incites a dark and heavy mood with low tone riffage and Slayer-esque solo portions.
Overall, Split is a fairly new concept that seems to have worked out for both bands. Even though Iron Reagan dominated most of the tracklist, both artists were able to put forth an impactful presence with some real home-run material. Split is definitely worth the whole listen, and multiple playbacks.