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Nervochaos - Dug Up (Diabolical Reincarnations)

Dug Up (Diabolical Reincarnations)
by Matt Bozenda at 09 December 2021, 8:42 PM

Necromancy is the foul magic of raising the dead, and what an appealing concept. Every Skyrim player who ever put serious time into the game wound up playing a necromancer build at some point. It didn’t even lose too much luster when the Night King was given such a massive buildup only to get a C-story finish. The power over life and death has endless narrative possibilities.

Real life examples are, thankfully, few and far between and, perhaps most importantly, typically up for debate. Now, however, the wizards at XenoKorp have spun a few spells in a Brazilian graveyard and turned it into “Dug Up (Diabolical Reincarnations)”, a celebration of the 25th anniversary of São Paulo-based Death metallers NERVOCHAOS. The band’s current lineup plays thirteen tracks from across the years, giving each one a good sandblasting and new coat of paint.

The faithful among the followers of Brazilian metal will at once notice the differences. While Death metal still rules the roost, a distinct lean towards a classical Thrash/Punk looms over the slew of remakes. The question of whether this makes the songs better or worse is so subjective no honest critic would declare an answer. But, whatever the stance, a side-by-side comparison yields stark results.

Take, for example, “Pazuzu Is Here”. The original release from 2010’s “Battalions Of Hate” is an excellent Death metal track which hints at countrymen SEPULTURA, perhaps an inevitable analogy but it is hard to avoid here. Compared to 2021’s version, which does have a little more studio sparkle about it, the original still holds up, but the remake demonstrates the shift in technique inherent in membership changes. Death metal scholars and of course NERVOCHAOS fans themselves will have to wonder if the forthcoming release of all original material will signal a completely new era for the band, rather like “Heaven And Hell” did for BLACK SABBATH.

At any rate, “Pazuzu Is Here” was given the singles treatment, along with “Putrid Pleasures” and “I Hate Your God”, the latter of which opens the album and has a place in the All-2021 Playlist. For the most part, those are really the hits in play here. “The Urge To Feel Pain” seems to be on to something, and the eponymous “Nervochaos” has a catchy beat to it, but those are the only real standouts until you get to the last three tracks, which are all high quality.

So, what can be expected when someone leaves a band? The band can fold, or find a replacement. Sketch comedy groups do the same thing all the time. But where Saturday Night Live can continue without any original members, bands don’t have that luxury. And just like SNL fans, NERVOCHAOS fans are going to know that the only part of this band they remember on “Dug Up (Diabolical Reincarnations)” is the drummer. Is that enough to not turn away old fans and still gain potential new ones? Only time will tell. For now, you can spend thirty-eight minutes deciding for yourself if you don’t like the new formula. They do still sell the originals.

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. I Hate Your God
2. Envy
3. Putrid Pleasures
4. Pazuzu Is Here
5. Mighty Justice
6. Upside Down Cross
7. The Urge To Feel Pain
8. Dark Chaotic Destruction
9. Nervochaos
10. Pure Hemp
11. Scavengers Of The Underworld
12. Perish Slowly
13. The Devil’s Work
Brian Stone - vocals
Luiz “Quinho” Parisi - guitars
Wesley Johann - guitars
Pedro Lemes - bass
Edu Lane - drums
Record Label: XenoKorp Records


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