Some Things Should Stay Underground

It’s strange, the little quirks and idiosyncrasies that pull our thoughts and attention toward one thing or another. Case in point, this very review. I straight up only chose this album for review because of the band’s name; Necronemesis. For whatever the reason I have always had an affinity for the word nemesis, a certain appeal for it no matter the representation. From the Nemesis Enforcer in 1987’s animated G.I. Joe movie to the Nemesis T-Type in the Resident Evil series, or the loveable badguy Brick Top from Guy Ritchies’ Snatch, explaining the definition of the word. And what self-respecting metalhead doesn’t think of the mighty Satyricon and their opus Nemesis Divina at the mention of the word. So taking on Puerto Rico’s Necronemesis was a total blind affair that turned out to be a solidly pleasant one.

While I doubt that Some Things Should Stay Underground is going to top any best of 2021 lists, I do find a lot of promise, pleasure, and even possibilty in their sound and presentation. The problem though is that Necronemesis has been around for twenty  years  now and STSSU is not only the name of their debut album, but also the name of their first demo release back in 2005. In fact, “Horrorpit”, the single being pushed for the new debut album, was the featured track from the 2005 demo. Not that any of that is a bad thing or constitutes lousy music. A good song is a good song, no matter when it was written, and metal music is the type of genre where you will most likely see this type of thing. My longwinded point is that I personally don’t see oodles of musical growth in the future for a band that is obviously well established in their sound by now. Yeah, I know, it makes me sound like a dick, but it is what it is…

Regardless of how long Necronemesis or their material  has been in the game, the fact is that STSSU contains some good old -school flavored American-ized death metal here. To be honest, the band reminds me of quite a few different acts in terms of style and presentation, but I’d have to say that their take of death metal is more in line with that of (old)Death, Massacre, Bolt Thrower, Fetid Zombie, Mortification, Exhumed, Morbid Angel, and even Slaughter in the Vatican-era Exhorder. Hell, for better or worse, they even recruited Rick Rozz(Death/Massacre) to contribute all of the albums guitar solos. Now that’s commitment to the elder ways of death right there. With all the albums tracks throwing out fat riffs and plenty of catchy ass tremolo runs, there is something to latch onto around every corner of STSSU, even if they are versions and variations of ideas that are far from being novel.

From “Horrorpit”, to “They Live in the Attic”, to “Death from Above” to “Cranial Disfigurement (By Fist)”, the album definitely supplies the basics of what we death-heads like in our metal. If I had any real complaints with STSSU, it would be just two things really. One, that vocalist, Angel David’s lower gutturals sometimes dip into “dryish”  territory, where if they were just a bit more “wet” it would bring even that much more brutal resonance so-to-speak. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about some shitty Chris Barnes’ dry ass huffs and puffs, and honestly I’ve heard and enjoyed far, far worse, and considering David’s gutturals sound fine 90% of the time, as well as his higher end screams sounding pretty damn good, it would seem I’m just being a nitpicking asshole.

And two, I feel that for every bit that I dig hearing Rick Rozz hammering out some whammy bar solos and dive bombs, it is basically out of a nostalgic flair and feeling. The band could have benefited heavily in having a very different style of lead guitar/guitarist. Having a player in the vein of James Murphy, Chuck Schuldiner, Ralph Santolla, Erik Rutan, or the likes could have taken some of these already kicking ass, riff-centric tracks to blazing new heights. All in all though, I have to say Necronemesis did a pretty bang up job with their proper debut album. If you’re not a fan of the olden, non-tech ways of death metal, then you may want to stay clear of Necronemesis. Yet if a good, fun, non-arrogant beatdown is something that sounds spectacular to you, well dig in, because that’s what Some Things Should Stay Underground has in store for you.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
June 17th, 2021


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