It’s always cool to see bands grow and change over time. There are many different ways that can happen. It could mean a change in sound and approach. It might happen through the addition or subtraction of band members. Maybe it’s just a single producer having influence over a record that creates a larger change. Or in the case of Brazilian death-thrash darlings Nervosa, it means all three and more. The results are stunningly fun.
I’ve written multiple articles to rave about Nervosa. They are one of those awesome bands that straddle the fine line between death and thrash metal. It seems like a pretty logical evolution in sound for thrash in a modern world anyway, so that could explain the particular joy I take in bands like Nervosa. However, the death metal influences are much more pronounced on their latest record, Perpetual Chaos. That can partly be due to the huge lineup changes in recent history. Bassist & vocalist Fernanda Lira and drummer Luana Demetto left the band in 2020, and Amaral brought in bassist Mia Wallace and drummer Eleni Nota and added a vocalist in Diva Satanica. Such a dramatic change is bound to bring some big changes with it, and the great part is that the changes feel like a very natural evolution for the band.
The other part of this change is the production quality. Perpetual Chaos has an altogether different sound than previous records, and that means more than just songwriting and direction. As much as I loved the band’s previous releases, it always nagged me that there was just the slightest tinny quality. It was like there just wasn’t enough bass in the mix. This latest release resolves that issue (however personal to me that might have been). Now it sounds like the high quality production we come to expect from bands once they’re established. What was already a great sound has improved in a natural way, and it’s absolutely to die for.
Speaking of established, Nervosa must’ve just achieved a status level I wasn’t aware of because look at the guests they were able to get! Guilherme Miranda of Entombed A.D. provides guitars on “Until the Very End”, and Flotsam and Jetsam vocalist Erik “AK” Knutson and Marcel “Schmier” Schirmer of Destruction star on “Rebel Soul” and “Genocidal Command” respectively. I was actually genuinely convinced Knutson was Bruce Dickinson until Amaral jokingly corrected me in a recent interview. I point that out to say that a lot of eyeballs are on Nervosa these days, and these metal veterans are coming out to support the crew. It’s a testament to how hard they have worked, and it shows.
Nervosa represents everything thrash metal should be doing in 2021 and beyond. After all, it’s not the 1980s anymore, and thrash is becoming more and more of a dying idea. By taking the ideas from thrash metal and modernizing them, Nervosa is bringing the ideas to the future. The darker sound on top of speedy rhythms is exactly what the sound needs to meet the times. Perpetual Chaos is also Nervosa’s best record to date, so that makes it even more interesting. The natural evolution of their sound from previous iterations feels real and not forced like they were intentionally trying to do something different. It’s real and it’s fabulous. Anyone who disagrees is just plain wrong. If this is where thrash metal continues to grow, then we might be talking about the year of thrash pretty soon.
Nervosa’s Perpetual Chaos was released on January 22nd. You can head on to their Bandcamp above to grab it!