Nervosa - Agony

12 songs
48:10 minutes
***** ***
Napalm Records


Most people will think this year, when it comes to Rio, of the Olympic Games. The massive doping revelations and the impossible state of the Olympic Village show that not all that glitters is gold. So letís move over a few hundred kilometres to S„o Paulo, the hometown of Nervosa. The three untameable Brazilian women offered their solid debut Victim Of Yourself in 2014 and must have been more popular than their national football team that only scored a fourth place in the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, after two bitter defeats.

This year the thrash queens are back with Agony, a logical consequence from the debut. Itís not a mere copy though, but a matured step forward. Nervosa still play rawest thrash metal that never sounds too complex. This isnít mean as a criticism though. The twelve songs average four minutes each, which means that the ladies always get quickly to the point. And donít expect too much finesse. The vocal lines are mostly screams, and you have to listen hard to make out that yes, there is a woman singing. The guitars sound rough and dirty, and the few solos come with incredible ferocity. I am fond of their lower tuned guitars that remind me of Celtic Frost. The rhythm section is also relentlessly wild and feral, offering the perfect backdrop for the music. Next to Sepultura (of course!), main influences seems to be German thrash pioneers like Destruction and Kreator. The songs are very entertaining and intense, with the musicians never taking a pause. One might deplore a certain lack of variety, but if you are fond of classic thrash riffs, you might forgive them this little flaw. My personal highlight is Cyber War, a fast and catchy track that has all it takes to become a future classic. Another track I want to point out is the concluding Wayfarer, with six minutes the longest track on the album, beginning in a bluesy way before surprising with stoner and sludge motifs. Definitely a nice way to end their second album.

Nervosa once again did well on Agony and are still on the right path. The occasional bumpy parts that could still be made out on the debut are all but gone. If they keep working on themselves as they did between albums, their next record should sound even more refined. Agony is definitely a fun album, a big step forward, and it would be great to be able to see this band perform live.

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