Jailbreak shows that, despite the chaos of their lineups, Brazilian thrashers Nervosa are still a powerful force to be reckoned with

They may have suffered all manner of turbulence with their lineups, but Nervosa are still one of thrash's modern leaders

Nervosa in 2023
(Image: © Gregory Dourtou)

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The 2020s have been turbulent enough for most people, but for Nervosa it appears to have reached another level. Having spent the previous decade cementing themselves as Brazil’s foremost entry to an international thrash revival alongside the likes of Evile, Havok and Warbringer, they underwent a complete line-up change in 2020 that left guitarist Prika Amaral as the sole original member. They came back from the brink with a stormer of an album in 2021’s aptly named Perpetual Chaos – only for the band to disintegrate again. Following this second Nervosa breakdown, Prika stepped up to the lead vocalist role and recruited another entirely new international line-up.

The bad news? The mainstay’s vocal delivery is a little more one-dimensional than former longterm bassist/vocalist Fernanda Lira’s – as was short-term replacement Diva Satanica’s, to be fair. She doesn’t really have a scream, but her lacerated growl does fit neatly into Nervosa’s style, which has always veered towards the heavier side of thrash in a similar vein to early Sepultura or Destruction. If anything, Jailbreak pulls back from the death metal flirtation of its predecessors, but if that’s what you crave there’s always the superbly crushing Crypta, formed by Lira and drummer Luana Dametto following their departure from Nervosa.

Jailbreak might not be Nervosa’s heaviest outing, then, but it is superbly crafted and performed. The likes of Behind The Wall and Gates To The Fall still hit like an avalanche while Seed Of Death and Sacrifice take a more melodic slant. With two guitars for the first time, they dive into Maiden-esque harmonising on numerous occasions, while Exodus legend Gary Holt lends his own six-string skills to When The Truth Is A Lie. It may take fans a while to get used to, but Nervosa Mk III are still a powerful force in contemporary thrash.

Paul Travers has spent the best part of three decades writing about punk rock, heavy metal, and every associated sub-genre for the UK's biggest rock magazines, including Kerrang! and Metal Hammer