PICK OF THE WEEK: Nervosa live as they lash back against tryanny, injustice with ‘Perpetual Chaos’

A lot of us found our lives turned upside down when COVID-19 struck, some of us impacted much worse than others. But so many of us have faced upheaval, even if that just comes to changing the way we live our lives or go to work, that life today doesn’t even resemble what it did a year ago. The music industry was hit as hard as any with live shows gone, earnings dying, and venues closing due to lack of support.

Long-running thrash band Nervosa were not immune to these times, as the band practically dissolved around Brazilian guitarist Prika Amaral, leaving her with addressing the rumors that the band was no more. But Amaral refused to give in and instead put together a stellar new lineup—including vocalist Diva Satanica (also of Bloodhunter), bassist Mia Wallace (she most recently played with Abbath and is a veteran of a ton of other bands) and drummer Eleni Nota (also of Lightfold, Mask of Prospero)—and they got to work on their thunderous fourth record “Perpetual Chaos,” a 13-track, nearly 45-minute album that is razor sharp and sounds like a band operating with as bloodlust. The band addresses abuse of power, violence, capitalism, and taking up arms for minorities who too often get ground in the gears. You can hear their venomous rage in the music, filling you with fighting spirit since the struggles people face are still in our backyards ready to topple us.  

“Venomous” starts the record with heavy thrashing, riffs that crush wills, and Satanica’s deep shrieks that add a more muscle vocally for Nervosa. The leads go off as the chorus soars, bringing everything to a disruptive end. “Guided By Evil” is a little doomier but no less heavy as the verses smash and the simple, yet effective chorus sends jolts down your spine. Vicious shrieks later blister bones while everything comes to a devastating end. “People of the Abyss” keeps the intensity high as the leads catch fire, and the low end is burly and muscular. The pace speeds up later and splatters faces as Satanica’s voice feels like a dagger to your chest. The title track has the drums firing up and the guitars joining in the madness as the chorus punches holes in you, and the warmth picks up and destroys. Start/stop mauling gets into your blood as the drums kill again, eventually bleeding away. “Until the Very End” unloads and catches your fingers in a heavy steel door before the riffs hit the gas pedal. There’s a bit of a punk vibe here, which is tasty, and then it gets darker as Satanica wails, “Bad thoughts coming first, somebody help me get out of this place, and give me strength to start all again,” seeking support as mental wounds lean in again, something in which we relate a little too much. “Genocidal Command” combines Satanica with Destruction overlord Schmier as they double up and crush you. Their dueling shrieks peel flesh from your body as the call-back chorus pumps its chest, and everything ends in fire.

“Kings of Domination” punches open as the guitars scorch, and the playing grinds away, as the blood rushes to the surface. The vocals thrash away as the guitars bring fluid power, the carnage collects, and the track slams the gates on your face. “Time to Fight” has riffs firing up and unleashing lava while the verses blaze, and the straightforward chorus provides energy. The guitars light up later and churn a path while everything crushes bones at the end. “Godless Prisoner” unloads and evil guitar work and doomy prowess as the playing clobbers, and the pace snarls hard. The guitars go off, bringing things to a punishing finish. “Blood Eagle” is a fucking spine shaker after it moves past its strange and eerie start. The band leans back in to start/stop skullduggery that hits the sweet spot while the chorus rules hard, and the end is consumed by fire. “Rebel Soul” pairs Satanica with Flotsam and Jetsam vocalist Erik A.K. as they create a modern-day anthem for raised and pumped fists in a live setting. The playing has a Motorhead filth shine to it, while the two vocalists lather up forces for good and strength as they proclaim, “I’m a rebel soul, just like you.” “Pursued by Judgement” is the one weak spot on the record. It’s not a bad song, but it doesn’t really stand out much. It’s thrashy and meaty for sure, but it could have been lopped off and not hurt the record at all. “Under Ruins” is the closer, and it’s a barnstormer. It begins moody but later turns deadly and soberingly violent as Satanica desperately pleads, “Save me, help me, don’t let me die in the streets.” The band immerses itself in power, lashing back at injustice, bringing the record to a fierce, righteous end.

Nervosa is a being Amaral refused to let die, and her efforts and determination paid off wonderfully, as “Perpetual Chaos” is easily the strongest, most ferocious of their four records. The band definitely sounds deadlier and hungrier, and noticeably heavier, as they blaze their way toward widespread recognition among metal’s circles. They’re vicious, powerful, and ready to strike, bringing with them an album that’s here to topple worlds and fight back against oppression and fear they face head on.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/nervosa

To buy the album (U.S. and Canada), go here: https://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/

Or here (rest of the world): https://napalmrecords.com/

For more on the label, go here: https://label.napalmrecords.com/

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