Similar to the resurgence of 90s alternative rock in the States, 80s thrash metal is once again sweeping Brazil, and newcomers Nervosa are near the top of the pack of new Brazilian thrashers. Their first full length album, Victim of Yourself, which sounds like a combination of early Metallica and early Sepultura, is a full on full frontal assault of thrash metal the unadulterated likes of which we haven’t heard in quite a while.
Prika Amaral (guitar, backing vocals), Fernanda Lira (guitar, lead vocals), and Pitchu Ferraz (drums) thrash, wail, growl, and shred better than most of their contemporaries, particularly on tracks like “Justice Be Done,” which showcases the band’s many musical talents. Lira’s near-black metal vocals, that oscillate between screeches and growls, are so heavy and thick that one can’t help but wonder how long she can keep them up. Here’s hoping for at least an unlimited number of albums.The best thing about her vocals though isn’t that they are so heavy, but that they are so heavy AND comprehensible. Amaral’s guitar riffs are whiplash quick and easily rank up there with the best thrash riffs of the last few decades. Ferraz’s drumming is what really stands out here though. Nervosa existed in other various forms before Ferraz’s arrival, she is the newest member of the band, but like Nirvana needed Grohl to transcend into true sonic greatness, it appears that Nervosa (or at least Amaral and Lira as two thirds of a band) needed Ferraz to transcend mediocre metal.
Tracks like “Wake Up and Fight” spread the metallic carnage out a bit. Here Amaral slings out riffs more in the vein of Tommy Victor (Prong) than Jeff Hanneman (Slayer). Amaral treats us to more of the same during the opening of “Nasty Injury.” We quickly go from fast grunge-like riffs to pure speed metal in a few minor heartbeats though. It’s on “Envious” though that Nervosa really stretch their abilities, not by playing faster than anywhere else on the album, but slower and more atmospherically (at least for the first 46 seconds). When the thrash hits though, it’s more melodic than it is anywhere else on the album. If you like a melody with your daily thrash (like I do) then “Envious” is the track for you.
“Into Mosh Pit” sounds just like you’d expect it to. Its a mother of a moshin’ track. “Deep Misery” with it’s scant 2 minutes and 6 seconds is pure thrash heaven. Short and saccharine, if throwback thrash metal is your thing, “Deep Misery” will bring a tear to your mosh swollen eyes. Title track “Victim of Yourself” rivals “Justice Be Done” for album’s best track. Here again, Nervosa manage to strike the perfect mix of all of their elements in one song.
Often times, pure thrash metal albums tend to become a bit repetitive during initial listens, and Victim of Yourself does suffer from this repetitiveness a bit. If your goal is an evening of head banging, moshing, and violent slam dancing to some of the best thrash around, then Victim of Yourself is the perfect album. Even the mighty Max Cavalera stretched and experimented with his sound eventually though. If Nervosa ever does, we might truly be treated to the second coming of Sepultura/Soulfly. I for one think these girls have it in them to be just that.