REVIEW: Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos

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A few months after we saw Brazilian thrash metal act NERVOSA live in Helsinki, the band announced that two members, vocalist/bass player Fernanda Lira and drummer Luana Dametto would part ways with the band. Remaining band member, founder, and guitarist Prika Amaral announced quickly she would stay on and find new dedicated musicians to join NERVOSA. She found her match in Diva Satanica (vocals), Eleni Nota (drums), and Mia Wallace (bass) and together they spent a month together in Malaga to record their upcoming album. Months later, the album is finally ready to see the light of day: “Perpetual Chaos” will be released on January 22nd, 2021, via Napalm Records.

Changing a lineup drastically is always a challenge for any band. Usually, it goes together with a change in sound. While the core of NERVOSA‘s sound is still intact in “Perpetual Chaos,” its new members introduce plenty of refreshing elements into that sound, orienting more towards the death metal genre.

Starting off the frenzy of rage is lead track “Venomous.” Within the first minutes, this song has an incredible power that will urge you to engage in some good old headbanging. The track immediately showcases the incredible talent of Greek drummer Eleni Nota – within the framework of this album, she is a force to be reckoned with. Furious riffs already reveal that this album is going to be heavier and more brutal than the previously released “Downfall of Mankind.”

The opening riff of “Guided By Evil” builds up tension perfectly. In combination with Nota‘s ominous drumming, a grim atmosphere is set. The song is one of the ultimate highlights of the album, with great fast, menacing riffs and a hooky chorus. No wonder the band decided to pick this as the lead single. Most of the songs share a similar recipe; however, there are plenty of outstanding tracks on this album that make this album, in its own way, incredibly diverse: the fast-twitching “Until the Very End” and “Time to Fight,” title track “Perpetual Chaos” that has some slower-paced passages that add a nice flow to the album, or “Blood Eagle” that starts off with a peculiar intro before it plummets into an intriguing track with interesting rhythmic changes throughout the song, despite being a somewhat slower track.

The album also contains some exciting surprises: in “Genocidal Command” Diva Satanica‘s vocal prowess is combined with the exceptional range of Schmier (DESTRUCTION) resulting in thrash metal hysteria. Their vocals blend in surprisingly well and adding Schmier to the mix offers variety in an album that contains songs that mostly follow the same pattern. He is not the only guest to appear on this album, as Eric “A.K.” Knutson of FLOTSAM AND JETSAM adds melodic vocal lines to the groovy, heavy metal -infused “Rebel Soul.”

Perhaps the biggest reason that this album feels like brutal, old NERVOSA is because the band decided to work with producer Martin Furia again, with whom they also collaborated on “Downfall of Mankind,” keeping a somewhat cohesive style in line with the rest of their albums, which makes for a similar flow to their prior releases. Vocalist Diva Satanica is an excellent addition to the band, as her growls sound very well-rounded, diverse, and ultimately, are a better match for NERVOSA.

If there is one pitfall in this otherwise outstanding record, it’s that the bass is a bit lost in the mix. In songs like “Kill the Silence” (from “Downfall of Mankind”), the gnarly, groovy bass sound is an incredibly powerful tool that adds a lot of depth to the sound, which is something I definitely miss in “Perpetual Chaos.” After all, such a talented bass player like Mia Wallace deserves to shine more in the mix. Otherwise, the production of this effort is exactly what you would expect from a band like NERVOSA: raw and edgy with an old-school feel.

“Perpetual Chaos” is the first record in 2021 that I’m reviewing and I’m glad to tell you that we’re off to an excellent start. From start to finish, “Perpetual Chaos” is a wild ride with furious riffs, invigorating drum work, and impressive vocal performances. The album takes you to different extremes within seconds, from dive-bombs to blast beats. The musicians with whom Prika Amaral has surrounded herself are an extremely talented bunch, which adds up to the sound. Bigger, better, scarier! Thrash metal maniacs, beware! NERVOSA is back with a brand new lineup and a more brutal sound than ever. Disclaimer: most enjoyed while blasting extremely loud from your speakers.

Tracklist

1. Venomous
2. Guided By Evil
3. People of the Abyss
4. Perpetual Chaos
5. Until the Very End
6. Genocidal Command
7. Kings of Domination
8. Time to Fight
9. Godless Prisoner
10. Blood Eagle
11. Rebel Soul
12. Pursued By Judgement
13. Under Ruins

Lineup

Diva Satanica – Vocals
Prika Amaral – Guitar
Mia Wallace – Bass
Eleni Nota – Drums

Label

Napalm Records

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