By: Nameless N00b_161
Recently while at a burrito shop, the worst fate befell me that can strike any poor customer of the food industry: the girl behind the counter got all my portions wrong. Sorrow enveloped me as a few paltry pieces of meat were laid out sparsely across the shell, the cheese meagerly scattered, the vegetables a seeming afterthought. What was presented to me was not the glorious bursting-at-the-seams juicy platter of expectations, but a vaguely meat flavored, vegetable sampling, cheese encrusted shell. The quality of the food—the succulent beef, the crispy lettuce—was overshadowed by a miserly portion at the hands of a blasé employee. Hailing from Italy, NecrUterO stands to deliver a thick meaty burrito of death-infused thrash in the form of Metallo, with all the bravado and alcohol infused rowdiness the genre demands. We know the general sound, so the question becomes less of what we will be served, and rather how well what is served will be prepared?
NecrUterO skillfully denies any moment on Metallo the chance to outlast its welcome, handily leaping from highlight to highlight to keep songs sounding fresh. From the good-natured rambunctiousness of “Fight in a Cage,” to the shredding ending of “Cemetery of Doom,” NecrUterO do their best to keep things mixed up, using a limited bag of tools to unleash as many configurations as possible of horns-in-the-air-inducing, pit-exploding, head-banging-while-grabbing-neighbors-by-the-shoulders-evoking, and swaying-in-unison-with-beer-in-hand-conjuring metal. “Ave Satana” is a real highlight, with a sharp introduction, catchy riffs, atmospheric soloing, and gritty vocals reminiscent of a more decipherable Incantation. “Eyes of Terror” is the most diverse cut, lurching from thrashy beats and catchy leads to full-fledged tremolo transitions and a chugging climax.
Metallo’s issues arise from banal simplicity, however. This is an album whose simplicity eventually devalues every highlight it has with repeated listens. The most complex and energetic leads could generously be described as “does, indeed, play most of a scale.” Riffs, which at first invoke happy head bobbing such as those that lead into “Scoppa II Cuore,” merely lead to apathetic yawns after repeated listens. “Eyes of Terror” is illustrative, attempting to throw far too many ideas into one song and then perpetually returning to the most underwhelming ones, leading to a product with a far inferior sum to its parts.
Some curious production choices also dampen Metallo’s power. “New World Order” sees vocalist H.Archvile engage in some inadvisable sung-screams which takes an already bland chorus and drags it to mediocrity. This is disappointing itself, but more so when contrasted with the powerful voice we know he’s capable of elsewhere—alternating between menacing and goofy in “Cemetery of Doom” and sounding at his most visceral in “Scopa II Cuore,” he is more than capable of sounding monstrous when he chooses. Additionally, solos that at first sound gripping eventually give way to their lack of supporting force as the bass alone is left to bear the weight. While the bass’s zany, almost bouncy style throughout Metallo is admirable, it lacks the grit to function as the songs’ backbone. The role of the bass is even more confounding when noting that the band does have two guitarists in Abraxas and Alexi, meaning that there’s no reason for the most traditionally metal passages to sound so empty and lacking in ferocity.
I wish I liked this record more. At first blush, Metallo has all the ingredients one could ask for when seeking a good helping of deathly thrash and is certainly worth a spin or two for those looking to get more of the style into their diets. But these songs are structured so simply; like Iron Walrus with twice the speed and only half the charm. Listeners end up with an album filled with delicious ingredients of solos, riffage, and catchiness wrapped in a tasty shell of diverse song structures which leave the proverbial customer dissatisfied. This is worth at least a passing listen, and there are glimmers of inspiration here—I sincerely hope NecrUterO can up their portions on their next outing.