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Nervosa – Agony album review

The new queens of Brazilian thrash let rip

Nervosa, album cover

Once you get past the mild novelty of having your face ripped off and nailed to the nearest wall by three young Brazilian women who, in truth, don’t look overly scary in their promo photos, the most interesting thing about the second Nervosa album is how it makes mincemeat of the vast majority of like-minded thrash records from the last few years.

With a sound that veers between the heads-down primitivism of early Sepultura and the razor-sharp technical attack of Kreator circa Extreme Aggression, there are few significant detours from the thrash template, but it’s the sheer ferocity and conviction that burst from every last scything riff and breathless change of pace that make this such a revelation. It’s hard to tell if the incensed speed metal spittle-spray of Intolerance Means War and Hostages are underpinned by a socio-political conscience, but when the music rips this hard, who cares? Even the album’s sole curveball delivers a flesh-mangling bite: the closing Wayfarer represents the invention of a new subgenre known simply as gospel thrash. You know you want to hear it.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.