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Words and Photos: Gatecreeper / Migrator at The Bottleneck

Gatecreeper at The Bottleneck. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Date: September 26, 2021

The Bottleneck - Lawrence, KS

One day after rocking an early evening set for thousands of Maggots at Knotfest in Des Moines, Arizona death metal band Gatecreeper hit the road and took the stage at The Bottleneck. Roughly 100 metalheads showed up for this Sunday gig and despite singer Chase Mason's warning that he was losing his voice, that thought wouldn't have crossed my mind. The band's pummeling, old school take on the sound felt monstrous roaring out of The Bottleneck's new sound system and a couple small, but feverish circle- and push-pits broke out over the course of the set.

Preceding Gatecreeper was Lawrence doom band Migrator. Featuring a lineup of heavy hitters (members of Young Bull and the recently-disbanded Amenaza), the band joked about the length of time between its slow-rolling riffs, but those riffs were certainly no joke themselves. I've encountered a non-zero number of acclaimed doom bands that come across as overserious about their sound yet lack the level of writing smarts displayed by Migrator on this evening. The band's tone -- an important element in the genre -- was also no less on point. Consider this one a win for heavy music in Kansas.

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