Album Review

Album Review: Nervosa – “Agony”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 4:08 PM (PST)
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Brazil’s leading ladies of thrash Nervosa are back to deliver a record that may be called Agony, but in fact the 12 tracks are very enjoyable even as the flesh is scorched off your back. If you like thrash with decent production but definitely on the more raw and fast side (as opposed to, say, the elaborate new Megadeth album), you are sure to enjoy this ferocity fest. The power trio are intense as hell and sound often like they are chasing the point of derailing but always manage to hold it together (“Theory of Conspiracy” is a great example of this). Death thrash screams shriek and roar over a barrage of high octane and generally full throttle tempo shorter thrash songs that arrive, kill, conquer and leave you in the dust panting for more as you bleed to death.

“Deception” has an old school Slayer vibe but the vocals almost sound like black metal, calling to mind a female Impiety or something. It’s rad as hell. Fernanda Lira sounds more comfortable behind the mic while the full band of Lira, Prika Amaral and Pitchu Ferraz sound tighter than on the first record. There is growth here but the fire and passion of Victim of Yourself is intact, even amplified.

“Guerra Santa” assaults like early Sepultura but again with the unique, high pitched shriek/roar vocals that are so bad ass. The album does not have a lot of variety but honestly this isn’t one of those bands you want it from. If you went to see Nervosa and they started adding breakdowns or polka or prog parts you would think the girls had slipped in the blood of the slain and hit their heads. Have no fear, trash fanatics…this is mostly therapeutic need for speed. “Wayfarer” ends the record with a startling detour into sort of bluesy sounding stoner rock (maybe it is a cover?) meets …And Justice For All-esque mid paced shuffle chug, but it is an anomaly. “Surrounded by Serpents” has a trickier intro that is edgy, slower and jagged before a spine rattling verse rockets forth, but most of the parts on this are whiplash inducing leather jacket wearing/ beer throwing white knuckle riffs. I wish this band had been my babysitters when I was a kid because I would have worshipped them as metal goddesses but now I am probably older than them and that would seem creepy. Still…hella respect.

“Devastation” kind of hits all the right buttons, a bit more groove in the chorus but a memorable chant paired with an unforgiving verse that sounds pretty friggin’ old school but not in a desperate and distracting way. This band is ear candy for a certain type of fan and I’d rather listen to them than pretty much any of the bigger thrash bands right now (with all due respect to the awesome new Anthrax album).

Thrash that has something to prove, and performed by women who annihilate any foolish thoughts of women being worse at metal, well…it makes for the kind of adrenalized performances with an edge a lot of more seasoned bands have long since lost due to dialing it in.

Order Agony HERE.

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