In all these years of good music, never I have met a Brazilian metalhead that is not totally badass, in one way or another. Seriously. They are all talented and skilled. And although it is clear that an all female trio would caught my eye even before listening their music, that is not the reason why I find this band outstanding. Suffice it to say that Victim of Yourself, the first full lenght album of the thrash metal power trio Nervosa, has reached the point to hypnotize and/or inhibit all my senses. The album shows a brutal blending of thrash, speed and death metal and even, if you pay attention, you can find a few but worthy of mention hints of progressive melodies, and even a little tiny bit of black metal’s dark imagery.
Nervosa is a thrash metal band from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Founded around 2010, the line up consist currently of guitarist and founder Prika Amaral, bassist and lead singer Fernanda Lira, and drummer Pitchu Ferraz. After releasing a video for the song ‘Masked Betrayer’ in 2012, the band gained instant attention of the media and fans, and soon they got a record deal with Napalm Records, the record label that released their first demo in August 2012. This 3-track demo gave them the opportunity to play several gigs on Brazil, and had them increasing significantly their fan base all over the world. After all this, it is not surprising how highly anticipated their first full lenght album was. And between you and me, Victim of Yourself has them already climbing fast in my personal thrash pyramid.
First point. The production is not top notch, but it is close enough and lets the album be an enjoyable journey without messing with the tone or making it any less attractive. That said, we can safely move on to talk about the music.
One word. Brutality.
Intense and high.speed riffs all over the album. guitarist Prika Amaral does a great use of tremolo picking and it is obviously a master in thrash metal’s usual techniques. There is a huge presence of Pantera and Death influences on her playing and on her instrument’s lines. Something that makes the perfect match with Prika’s guitar is the furious drumwork by Pitchu Ferraz. She has been playing drums since she was a 15 year old and maybe that experience has turned her into one of the most skilled female drummers I have ever heard. Her skank beats trigger the energy of the band in a formidable way, and adds to it the perfect aggressiveness for the genre. I read that the band members were on death metal and crossover bands before being a part of Nervosa, and the influence of these styles, especially death metal, is quite noticeable and more than refreshing to hear. Starting by the lead vocals of Fernanda Lira, a voice that exudes the agressivity and deepness of death metal growls and mixes it greatly with thrash’s distinctive roaring shouts of rage and detailed interpretation, giving the band their own label that distinguishes them from any other female band. The bass is, surprisingly, always loudly powerful and in your face throughout the album, as a clear sign that Fernanda intends to do much more than just marking the rhythm, and rather take the bass to a whole new and more protagonistic place in the songs. The three of them make such a perfect combo… Seriously. They have the sound, the skills, the passion and the talent to be a big band on the vast and sort of male dominated thrash metal scene, but the fact that they are women is honestly irrelevant, because they are awesome, and honestly they have way more balls than some of the male thrash metal bands I know. Just saying.
Some songs that really stand out from the others are Wake Up and Fight, for being the fastest and catchier song on the album, with the most brutal vocals. Nasty Injury, song that involves the most strongest and loudest bass work. And Death, that comes to me as the most solid and brutally energetic song of the bunch, showing great balance between the instruments and making almost impossible to resist the impulse to headbang. This song is precisely the chosen one to be the first single and has already a video for your delectation.
In short, Victim of Yourself, is a powerful album that despite developing itself in the same key almost all the time is dynamic enough to avoid boredom, with some very interesting structures and progressions, making obvious the professionalism, experience and passion of the masterminds. I have no doubt that the album will be at least satisfactory to any thrash metal fan, and despite it is certainly not that innovative, it is good, and most important, it is surely enjoyable enough to mosh and headbang all long. That’s what we all want right?
Nervosa is already postulating for me as one of the most qualified bands to represent modern Brazilian thrash metal. We are not dealing with rookie artists here. These three women have years of experience and they are madly in love with their music, and most important, they show it the respect it deserves by creating intense and quality songs, fusing in the right measure the best of several sub genres and achieving great results. For fans of Death, Slayer, Pantera, Exodus, Sepultura… There is definitely some tasteful stuff here for your delight… Personally I’m positively impressed by what I have heard and I can sense that the album is going to keep growing on me. I’m eagerly waiting to hear more of Nervosa soon and see what the future has to offer them. Or what they have to offer the future? Well… You get the idea.