On January 22, 2021, Brazilian thrash-death metal band Nervosa will release their fourth album called Perpetual Chaos. This title is apt given the hell of a year we have endured in 2020 with more chaos surely to follow in 2021. Nervosa have recorded a pulverizing morning star of iron riffs that run hot as molten steel. The caustic violence and savagery encapsulated in the music is intensely cathartic.
While the overall sound of Nervosa is relatively unchanged, the makeup of the band has shifted dramatically. Founding guitarist Prika Amaral holds down the fort with her epic riff mastery. However, the foundational rhythm section is re-imagined with the addition of Mia Wallace (bass) and Eleni Nota (drums). Capping off the revitalized Nervosa on vocals is Diva Satanica. Together they create a new Nervosa that holds true to the bands tradition of blistering riffs and eviscerating vocals.
Tearing out of the pit with malice is the lead track “Venomous”. These riffs will have you crushing every invisible orange as you clench your fists in a metal frenzy. This song allows you to get your first experience with drummer Eleni Nota. She is a metal machine. Kick drums blazing, Eleni propels every song with brutal force. Her drumming is spectacular and a key feature of Perpetual Chaos.
Snarling with menace is the song “Guided By Evil”. The opening Slayer-esque riff exudes hostile intent. Diva Satanica uses a range of extreme vocals to convey feelings of malice, rage, and contempt throughout the album. Her vocal prowess compliments the songs without overpowering them.
Nervosa bring in a couple of legendary vocalists to add some variety to Perpetual Chaos. “Genocidal Command” features guest vocals from Schimier (Destruction). His styling fit in well with the song structure. Erik A.K. (Flotsam and Jetsam) adds a bit of his awesome melodic power to the song “Rebel Soul”.
While there is plenty to love about Perpetual Chaos, there are a few things that keep this from being a great album. You may notice that there is no mention of powerhouse bass player Mia Wallace. We can assume that she is locked in tight with Eleni Nota to drive the rhythm. Sadly, her playing is buried in the mix. The only time her work rises to the surface is briefly during the song “Pursued By Judgement”. It is a shame that we can’t enjoy her talent throughout the album.
One other issue is the guest vocals on “Genocidal Command” and “Rebel Soul”. Not that there is any fault in the vocal performances. They are fine. However, these are fairly generic songs. It would make for a stronger album if these tunes offered more of a sonic and psychic punch.
Perpetual Chaos by Nervosa is a pummeling war hammer of metal. While the band has been retooled, the driving force behind the bombardment of riffs remains. Nervosa stay true to their thrash meets death songwriting that calls to mind the mastery of Slayer, Sodom, and Destruction. They even have the legendary Schimier of Destruction and Erik A.K. of Flotsam and Jetsam adding their thrashing vocal chords. The primal energy of the music is great. Treat yourself to a thrash-tastic new year with this bludgeoning metal album.