Gatecreeper Set the Bar High On 'Dark Superstition'

Gatecreeper Set the Bar High On 'Dark Superstition'

- By Creative Team

Vocalist and band architect Chase Mason explains the creative freedom and the personal expectation that went into such a pivotal record for death metal lifers.

Words by Kevin Diers / Photo by Trenton Woods

Ten years into their career, Gatecreeper has created their magnum opus – their Reign in Blood.

“We’ve reached a point in the band where we’re at the edge of the next level,” explains vocalist Chase Mason at home, just days before he’s set to embark on a tour alongside In Flames and Creeping Death. “For us as a band, it’s kind of a new era.”

On Friday May 17th, this Arizona based death metal band will release Dark Superstition, their third LP and first for the major metal label Nuclear Blast.

“We wanted it to be our big record,” Mason says. “Everything we’ve done has been leading up to this. It was the goal to make an elevated Gatecreeper record and take the elements that have been there in the past and just refine it and make the best songs possible.”

Throughout the 10 songs on Dark Superstition, we get glimpses of melodeath, tiny sprinklings of doom metal and plenty of their signature churning, nasty riffs.

“It’s almost like a mixtape sort of vibe because there’s a couple different style at play,” Mason explains. “The track listing is important. The first song to the last song... they’re all there for a reason.”



As Mason describes, this is certainly the most dynamic Gatecreeper album to date.

“We've been a band for 10 years and our tastes change and our goals change of what we're trying to do or what we're trying to accomplish,” Mason says.

While the band is open to evolving and experimenting with new sounds to add to their arsenal, he assures there will always be a few key elements that remain.

“These things are not going to change,” Mason explains. “The vocals - I'm not singing. The vocals are the same style. And the guitar tone. We still have the same guitar tone. Those are the pillars. If we can change pretty much anything else – the style of the songs, the length of the songs, the structural arrangement of the songs - if the tone and the vocals are still there, it's probably just gonna sound like Gatecreeper no matter what.”

In 2021 Gatecreeper surprise released An Unexpected Reality, an album that featured 7 short and fast blasts of sonic fury on the A side and one 11-minute brooding death doom song “Emptiness” on the B side.

“I feel like we established we can kind of do whatever we want within those confines,” Mason says. “It’s going to sound like Gatecreeper and more importantly, that people are going to accept it as Gateceeper.”



Though they have worked with Converge guitarist and legendary recording engineer Kurt Ballou in the past – he mixed their first two LP’s - this marks the first time he was involved in the entire process of the album. The five members of the band flew up to Salem Massachusetts to record at his studio, God City.

“We were a little intimidated,” Mason says. “We've worked with Kurt before, but we're going to record at a studio that is legendary, you know. We're under the gun. This was the first time recording as a band with somebody else than we usually do. We were super prepared. Everybody was dialed in with their own parts. We had the whole thing mapped out - this is exactly what we need to do. When we were there, we were just like, ‘Boom, boom, boom’ just knocking it out.”

Gatecreeper are well known for their hard grinding tour schedule. After their shows with In Flames, they will embark on a headliner with Jarhead Fertilizer, Final Gasp and Undeath. As Mason explains, one of the things that keeps them having fun on the road is having two younger members in the group. While Mason, guitarist Eric Wagner and drummer “Metal” Matt Arrebollo have been in the band since day one and guitarist Israel Garza and bassist Alex Brown joined in 2021 and 2022.

“When we're feeling a little jaded and when it’s like ‘Oh, we gotta fly to go to this thing,’… in their eyes, it's like ‘Oh, wow, we get to go to this cool place.’” Mason says. “I try to remember to have an attitude of gratitude, as they say, and it helps it goes a long way of when things are annoying.”


Ten years, countless tours and three albums in, Mason fully accepts that he’s a lifer.

“I just turned 37 this month,” Mason says. ” It’s already too late to drop out. I feel like you have solidified lifer status if you make it to 37.”

One of the keys to keeping his life manageable as someone who is constantly on the road, Mason says, is sacrificing some of the more normal and everyday things.

“We're not really making a whole lot of money off the music itself, so touring is where it's at,” Mason says. “So, if you want to keep it going, you got to stay on the road, whether it's here, or Europe, or whatever it is. I’m sure it gets harder as you get older, maybe physically, but also, you get older and a lot of people get married and start having kids and you have a lot more responsibilities at home, it makes it a little bit harder to leave all the time. So, for me, it's just been about setting my life up where this is my priority. I want to keep doing this. There are a couple of sacrifices that need to be made so that I can do that stuff.”

One might assume that with the heavy amount of touring comes a heavy amount of drinking and partying. Not for Mason. This year marks his 12th year of sobriety. As Mason tells me, the bands longevity and his sobriety go hand in hand.

“With starting the band in early sobriety and then just of using that having something to focus on kept me sober because I had something to do,” Mason says. “It also benefited the band because I had all this junkie energy to pour into the band. They just fed off of each other. Then at a certain point the band is helping me stay sober, because now I have something to lose. I built that, you know, we built this all up.”


Dark Superstition is set to arrive May 17th via Nuclear Blast Records.  The album is available for order - HERE

Gatecreeper is currently on a domestic run supporting Swedish melodic metal masters In Flames. Following the In Flames tour, Gatecreeper will spot the West Coast and Southwest region for a headlining run which hits Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver and more. Undeath, Jarhead Fertilizer and Final Gasp See the complete list of dates and cities below. 


May 16: Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre *

May 17: Buffalo, NY - The Town Ballroom *

May 18: Louisville, KY - Portal *

May 19: Milwaukee, WI - Milwaukee Metal Fest *

May 21: Detroit, MI - St. Andrews *

May 22: St. Louis, MO - The Hawthorn *

May 23: Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom *

May 24: Austin, TX - Emo’s *

May 25: Houston, TX - House of Blues *

May 26: Dallas, TX - House of Blues *

May 28: Santa Fe, NM - Tumbleroot Distillery 

May 29: Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater

May 30: Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge

May 31: Boise, ID - The Olympic

Jun 01: Vancouver, BC - Pearl on Granville

Jun 02: Seattle, WA - The Crocodile

Jun 03: Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios

Jun 05: Sacramento, CA - Goldfield Trading Post

Jun 06: San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Shop

Jun 07: Los Angeles, CA - 1720

Jun 08: Mesa, AZ - Record Release Show

Oct 30: Dublin, IRE - Whelan's

Oct 31: Bristol, UK - The Fleece

Nov 01: London, UK - O2 Academy Islington

Nov 02: Manchester, UK - Damnation Festival

Nov 03: Hertogenbosch, NL - Sepulfest

Nov 04: Wiesbaden, DE - Schlachthof

Nov 05:  Zurich, CH - Dynamo

Nov 06: Milan, IT - Legend Club

Nov 07: Vienna, AT - Arena

Nov 08: Munich, DE - Backstage

Nov 09: Essen, DE - Turock

Nov 10: Hannover, DE - Musikzentrum

Nov 11: Copenhagen, DK - Pumpehuset

Nov 14: Tampere, FI - Olympia

Nov 15: Helsinki, FI - Aaniwalli

Nov 16: Oulu, FL - Kantakrouvi

Nov 18: Stockholm, SE - Kollektivet Livet

Nov 19: Gothenburg, SE - Film Studios

Nov 20: Hamburg, DE - Knust

Nov 21: Berlin, DE - SO36

Nov 22: Leipzig, DE - Ut Connewitz

Nov 23: Stuttgart, DE - Im Wizemann

Nov 24: Antwerp, BE - Zappa 

* - w/ In Flames

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