Review: “Nothing Here Is Held Sacred” by Underneath

Metallic Hardcore trio Underneath hail from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and at the time of writing are in search of a drummer to play some shows around their debut EP “Nothing Here Is Held Sacred“. The record spans six raw cuts, described in one sentence as a non-stop barrage of riffs accompanied by screaming and the rhythm section from hell while clocking in at twenty two minutes with the band citing Spite as an influence. So if that doesn’t appeal, vocalist and guitarist Joey Phillips, bassist Jaden Barley and guitarist Owen Clark won’t be offended if you stop reading this review here.

Haunting evil sounds usually reserved for science fiction horror films bring “Caesarean Section” to life before a “Nomad” era Kublai Khan style ferocious single verse hits like a surprise punch in the face from a knuckle duster with vicious intent. Recovery is swift as there is no pause for breath before the band hammer out title track “Nothing Here is Held Sacred” with Phillips spitting blood as he roars through the lyrics like a man disappointed and let down by the World enough times that frustrations boil over into white hot fury. Vengeance is taken out upon our ear drums which bleed at the bands caustic sounds, the stuccato riff breaks of the rapid fire and fiercely intelligent “Those That Cheweth Not the Cud” breaking down the walls that face the band with an iron fist. Phillips vocals reach the void and momentarily touch Slam territory on this one but the darkly meloncholic meandering melodic lead of the later part that opens up into a tsunami of blast beats is incredible, touching the soul with its bleak accompanying lyrics, the raw vocal delivery speaking volumes a out what this means.

Bordering on feral “Eating Bugs” rips through the very fabric of space and time like a collection of cluster bombs, the brutal guitar tone the cutting edge to match the violence of the lyrics and no doubt the catharsis felt in the pit when these songs hit. Each riff is spine juddering, each percussion hit causing the earth to tremble beneath the feet. A calm moment of clarity before the storm introduces “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” before things turn nasty once again perhaps showing that the band have realised that their restless and relentless barrage needs something to break it up and prevent it from simply becoming white noise. A sample mid track has the same effect, however the unexpected Death Metal verse before a brutal breakdown section to close is asĀ  wholly unexpected as it is fan bloody tasic. Underneath the surface of “They Will Kill You When They Get the Chance” there is a socially and politically aware lyrical narrative about America which again offers up surprising insights into the bands thought process while also destroying you with the kind of riff onslaughts that ensure impromptu circle pits and Mosh pit violence at live shows. The downtempo breakdown passage crushes the skull before the void calls in the dull ache of the finale [8.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. Caesarean Section
  2. Nothing Here is Held Sacred
  3. Those That Cheweth Not the Cud
  4. Eating Bugs
  5. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  6. They Will Kill You When They Get the Chance

Nothing Here Is Held Sacred” by Underneath is out 20th January 2023 and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp

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