Review by Paul Castles, photos by Rich Thompson
A night spent at the Asylum is rarely a wasted one and that once again proved to be the case when the all female Brazilian thrash trio Nervosa arrived at the Birmingham venue.
Opening up the four-band bill in suitably pummelling fashion were local lads Our Earths Blood. Still very much in their infancy, there’s a couple of familiar faces on stage, Skot from Burden of the Noose and Chris of Fear Me Promotions, who have put on tonight’s entertainment. Then there’s the singer who pretty much shuns the stage to perform from the floor throughout and does admirably not trip over his own monstrous dreads.
Serving up in an your face smorgasbord of insufferable grind, Our Earths Blood superbly set the tone for the evening. If you missed the early birds then all is not lost. They return to the Asylum for Fearfest in October. Be sure to check them out!
Cerebral Scar made the journey over from Northampton and made quite an impression with their energetic mix of raging riffs, surges of power and driving rhythms. Frontman Mark is a great performer. Their next Midlands show is at the Roadhouse in Coventry on September 18.
Daemona hail from the spartan wastelands of East Anglia, well Ipswich actually, which isn’t quite as barren as some would have you believe. Indeed, some people actually have cars, not tractors. Daemona are fronted by the diminutive Nina who looks like an angel and sings like a demon. This girl is deadly seriously and the conviction she puts into her stage show is admirable.
With an angry blackened death metal onslaught, there’s plenty of Suffolk punch in evidence. For a new young band, Daemona are menacingly tight with Nina demanding as much from her band mates as from herself, finishing the set writhing around on the floor. At times the sheer savagery of the band draws comparisons with the French doomlords Monarch. Hopefully we’ll get another chance to welcome Daemona back to the Midlands next year by when a debut album should not be far from the surface.
Tonight’s headliners have the spirit of Brazilian metal pulsing through their veins. Thanks to the mighty Sepultura the world has long since acknowledged Brazil as a source of some great metal acts with Krisiun among the pick of the current crop. On tonight’s showing the Brazilian metal flame will burn brighter than ever if the baton passes over to the indomitable Nervosa. It’s not sufficient to merely suggest they are a brilliant female thrash band. They’re a brilliant thrash band – full stop!
The trio have been making friends and gaining fans during an exhaustive summer schedule that has seen them play at such acclaimed Euro hotspots as Summerbreeze and Brutal Assault. Having navigated their way from one sunbaked fest to another, the band then engaged in a UK tour and thankfully – and thanks to promoters Fear Me – this night in Brum was secured. The girls were totally made up about this with feisty bassist and singer Fernanda pointedly and proudly sporting a Napalm Death shirt in recognition of the local grind legends. No less impressive was the band’s blonde guitarist Prika who displayed a sneer of such delicious disgust that it could take the skin off a rice pudding.
At the back of the stage the flailing arms of Pitchu kept the samba beat intact, although the searing riffs and screeched vocals delivered by Nervosa are not really the sights and sounds of Copacabana Beach. While Brazil bathes in the double header spotlight of hosting a World Cup followed by an Olympic Games, Nervosa’s gritty focus is more on the downtrodden favelas than the flamenco routines. Their collective contempt for politicians and corruption back home permeates their sound, hard, driven, dynamic and passionate.
All three girls bring something to the thrash laden table although Fernanda’s superb grasp of English means she does most of the chit chat between numbers. Intelligent, engaging and funny, her personality was sufficient to light up the stage on its own. The Sao Paulo triumvirate ripped their way through a stack of songs from new album Victim of Yourself with ‘Death’ and ‘Into Mosh Pit’ among the best.
Any fans of old school thrash titans such as Exodus and Testament can’t help but lap up Nervosa with Fernanda even displaying a newly inked Slayer tatt on her fist just in case further evidence was necessary to quell any dissenters. At the Asylum there were none to be found, only the finest Brazilian blend.