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Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos Award winner

Nervosa
Perpetual Chaos
by Thomas Kumke at 17 February 2021, 2:40 PM

NERVOSA hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil was formed by Prika Amaral in 2010 and started originally as a 3-piece band. While their first two albums were basically Thrash Metal albums, a distinct Death Metal influence was evident on their much acclaimed third album “Downfall Of Mankind”. In spring 2020, former vocalist Fernanda Lira and drummer Luana Dametto decided to leave the band. Within four weeks, Prika Amaral recruited a new line-up with Spanish vocalist Diva Satanica (BLOODHUNTER), Italian bassist Mia W. Wallace (ABBATH, ex-TRIUMPH OF DEATH, KIRLEAN CAMERA), and Greek drummer Eleni Nota (MASK OF PROSPERO). With the new line-up, NERVOSA entered the studio and now released their fourth full-length album. “Perpetual Chaos” was mixed and produced by Martin Furia who was also in charge for “Downfall Of Mankind”. The album was released via Austrian label Napalm Records and has a length of almost 45 minutes.

NERVOSA always had a very aggressive and fast approach to Thrash Metal. Especially their album “Downfall Of Mankind” was an onslaught of speed and anger. I always thought that they have to slow down a bit with their next album but listening to “Perpetual Chaos”, I have to admit that I was wrong. NERVOSA was capable maintain speed and aggression, but also add new elements to their sound. This is mainly caused by their new band members who bring in fresh elements. “Perpetual Chaos” still has its roots in Thrash Metal which is reflected by the choice of their guest musicians. However, Diva Satanica adds the Death Metal piece, Mia W. Wallace brings some Black Metal aspects into the mix, and Eleni Nota has a new and fresh vision of how the drumming should work at NERVOSA. All elements are now part of the new and rejuvenated NERVOSA.

It all starts with “Venomous”, traditionally a “kick-in-your-face” opener on NERVOSA albums. It is a fast and aggressive song and one of the Thrash-oriented songs. There are a few elements that are different compared to previous albums. Lead guitar solos are built in more frequently and the one on “Venomous” is a great one. The vocals are more diverse. Diva Satanica’s growling vocals range from high to low end of the gutturals. That is even more evident on “Guided By Evil” and it gives NERVOSA a new quality that they did not have before. “Guided By Evil” is also the first single and was released as video.

People Of The Abyss” underlines the new vocal diversity and brutality of NERVOSA. In fact, those who know Diva Satanica from BLOODHUNTER will hardly believe what she is capable of. The drumming of Eleni Nota on each song is outstanding and on “People Of The Abyss” she plays in a league of her own in terms of technique and diversity. It is no longer only blast-beat driven, there is more of a balance between blast-beats, skank beats, ghost notes, and double-bass drums. On many songs, she has a preference towards her signature fast double-bass drums.

The title song is the first song in mid-tempo. It has catchy guitar riffs with head-banging chorus and a very strong rhythm section with excellent bass lines and highly comprehensive drums. “Until The Very End” is probably one of the highlights on “Perpetual Chaos”, again driven by the brutality of Diva Satanica’s vocals and Eleni Nota’s outstanding drumming. The guitar solo by Guilherme Miranda really kicks ass. Regarding the lyrics, NERVOSA often picked on critical topics like politics, equal rights, etc; here it is about battling depression and suicide thoughts: “You won’t be gone too soon/You can live through this/And go ahead/Until the very end/…/Survive beyond”.

Talking about guest appearances, when I heard “Genocidal Command”, I thought I am listening to a good old DESTRUCTION classics. This one is another Thrash Metal song on the album, dominated by both vocalists where German Thrash legend Schmier and Diva Satanica are going head-to-head and they are equal to it. “Kings Of Domination” is slightly slower and mainly kept mid-tempo. It is a more Death Metal inspired song but it would not be NERVOSA if there would not be a hammering high-speed part being included. “Time To Fight” is different from the other songs, influenced by Hardcore vibes (something NERVOSA also had on previous albums). It has catchy rhythms, great choruses, a lead guitar solo that reminds on MOTÖRHEAD classics, and I think the song may become a potential fan favorite.

The second part of the album sounds slightly darker than the first part and “Godless Prisoner” and even more “Blood Eagle” are perfect examples. Especially “Blood Eagle” has Black Metal inspired parts, something that is new for NERVOSA. Starting with a piano, it is mainly mid-tempo but with breaks played at breakneck speed. Driven by very dark guitar riffs and crunching bass lines, Diva Satanica is once again at her very outstanding best. “Blood Eagle” is definitely another highlight on the album.

Rebel Soul” is again something different. It is a Thrash Metal song but with classical Heavy Metal elements and the chorus and lead guitar solos remind again on MOTÖRHEAD. The guest vocals of Erik “AK” Knutson fit in perfectly to the vibe of the song. “Persued By Judgement” is another fast and aggressive song and one of those Thrash Metal-oriented songs. Highlight here are the immense skills of Eleni Nota on the drums who really has to work very hard because of the many changes in tempo and rhythm. Finally there is “Under Ruins” and this one of the highlights on “Perpetual Chaos”. The song has everything what defines the music of the old and new NERVOSA: darkness, aggression, and speed. “Under Ruins” was released as video and the YouTube link is given below.

The vinyl version of “Perpetual Chaos” includes two additional bonus tracks and for those who miss the traditional track in Portugese language on the album, it is one of those bonus tracks.

After their spit only eight months ago, NERVOSA are back with a seismic bang. Prika Amaral faced a huge task to put a new line-up together and she did a perfect job. All new band members give NERVOSA new dimensions and qualities. “Perpetual Chaos” maintains the identity and trademark NERVOSA sound but adds more strength and diversity. Producer Martin Furia had his own outstanding contribution to fit all these new individuals with their qualities together and to produce an album that should be a top contender for the Thrash Metal album of the year. “Perpetual Chaos” is a beast of an album and sets a landmark for the years to come. A must have for Thrash and Death Metal fans.

Songwriting:  10
Musicianship:  10
Memorability:  10
Production:  10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Venomous
2. Guided By Evil
3. People Of The Abyss
4. Perpetual Chaos
5. Until The Very End (ft. Guilherme Miranda)
6. Genocidal Command (ft. Schmier)
7. Kings Of Domination
8. Time To Fight
9. Godless Prisoner
10. Blood Eagle
11. Rebel Soul (ft. Erik “AK” Knutson)
12. Persued By Judgement
13. Under Ruins
Lineup:
Diva Satanica – Vocals
Prika Amaral – Guitars
Eleni Nota – Drums
Mia W. Wallace – Bass
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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