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Review: Gulch “Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress”

San Jose’s Gulch is hands down one of the most devastatingly brutal bands out now. Serving the perfect blend of catchy riffs, tasty guitar leads, powerful drums and harsh vocals that will leave you craving a Ricola after listening. Their 2020 release “Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress” is a flawless blend of hardcore and black metal influences from beginning to end and I honestly believe it is 100% responsible for why I haven’t seen my sleep paralysis demon in almost a year.

I had a feeling my apartment was haunted when it was listed on craigslist as a one bedroom for $200 a month, which is impossible to find anywhere these days. Even if they outright said the couple who lived in here before me died in a Satanic murder/suicide ritual. I didn’t have many options and who am I to judge someone else’s lifestyle? I assumed it’d be the type of situation where photos of my family started having their eyes scratched out or maybe the occasional book would fly across the room. Small stuff that’d be easy to ignore, ya know?

That definitely wasn’t the case for long. I ended up meeting my sleep paralysis demon the third night after moving in. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. I remember waking up at 3 a.m. to the sound of a banjo playing which was alarming in itself. I was going to go check the living room to see where it was coming from but I couldn’t move. I was stuck there in bed unable to get up. That’s when the door opened and I saw the long shadowy figure walk into my room. Glowing eyes the color of hell fire and a twisted face with a clearly detached bottom jaw. It would just stand above me. Plucking away on its trusty banjo for hours on end like we were on a patio in the bayou.

It was ruining my life night after night. I didn’t know what to do. I tried therapy, medications, sleeping in the living room, nothing was working. I was at the point where I was ready to accept that this was going to be the rest of my life. That was until I got this Gulch record. I remember loving it so much that I’d listen to it on repeat over and over. That was the first night in months I had gotten a full night’s rest. No banjo. No demon. I didn’t think much about it until I listened to it on repeat again the following day. Same results. No demon.

To this day, I put the record on every night before I go to bed and I wake up feeling completely recharged. I’m not completely sure what happened to the demon. I like to believe it left or that the sheer brutality of the record has it cowering in one of the shadowy corners of my home. Whatever the reason, I’m grateful.

Score: 5/5 Good nights of sleep.