A sharp step up from Victim Of Yourself…
Dropped on the world by Napalm Records on 3 June 2016, the explosion endured by Stephen Brophy
Sao Paulo, Brazil’s three-piece thrash beast Nervosa are hitting out hard with the follow up to their 2014 debut Victim Of Yourself. It’s hard to believe they even found the time to write and record Agony considering how much touring they’ve been doing over the last two years in support of that album, playing extensively through Latin America and Europe as well as hitting some of the important Metal Festivals such as SummerBreeze in Germany. But all of this experience has had a noticeable effect on the band’s confidence and it’s clearly transferred into this slamming and crushing piece of work.
A twelve-track thrash fest that generally lies on the blackened end of the scale, this album is generally heavier than its predecessor. There are many moments on this opus that the band step out of what many would consider to be their comfort zone, closing track ‘Wayfarer’ in particular contains some stunning blues-laden vocals with a definite 70’s vibe, quite unexpected but brilliant at the same time, this shows there is far more to this band than just pulverising riffs and screaming solos. But ‘Wayfarer’ is also blended with the thrash attack of the rest of the album, and when something like this is done properly, like here, it’s great to listen to.
Alongside ‘Wayfarer’, album highlights include the gruesomely awesome ‘Hostages’ which is just a savage track with a really nice accompanying video (above). Yes, there’s definitely more of an old school feel to this music in places – the intro to ‘Surrounded By Serpents’ may well be straight out of the Slayer playbook – but that is also what makes it so good. It doesn’t sound at all regurgitated or faked, Nervosa do exactly what they set out to do: deliver blitz after blitz of thrash. ‘Cyberwar’ leaves no prisoners as it rips through your guts, and that could pretty much sum up Nervosa. They are like a razor, the riffs are incessant and just cut through, the same MO applying to ‘Failed System’ with the massive hook in the riffs and has that addictive quality that a lot of 80s classic thrash had.
Agony is a sharp step up from Victim Of Yourself (reviewed here). it’s even more aggressive while also containing moments controlled calm. Everything sounds better production-wise also. It can be quite difficult to develop and continue to improve on what you are doing at this end of the thrash spectrum and quite often bands just go with the ‘more power, more speed’ mantra and that certainly doesn’t always lead to something better. There are bright things ahead for this band.
9 out of 10
- Theory Of Conspiracy
- Intolerance Means War
- Guerra Santa
- Failed System
- Surrounded By Serpents