Nervosa – “Agony” (Napalm Records)
With Brazil having long established itself as a major thrash metal market in the world, Nervosa form the vanguard of the next generation of South American thrashers – and they’re all chicks! However, don’t be expecting any flowery damsels as this vicious power trio are clearly confident with their gender and even more so with their musicianship!! Undoubtedly inspired by homegrown legends Sepultura but equally further afield thinking of Vader and Destruction, there is also a fair measure of death metal in there making for some exciting grooves and beats in between the abrasive, chopping thrash. Put it together and you have one merciless death squad from the screaming hell of enfant terrible Fernanda Lira, whose deep, crunching bass contrasts brilliantly with her Mille Petrozza like screeching to Pitchu Ferraz’s anabolic drum frenicity. Across it all comes founder / guitarist Prika Amaral and trust me, this young lady has it in the bank when it comes to monster hooks that sink into you like an anaconda – and then the thrashing begins with whirlwind Sepultura like rhythms capped off by wailing tremolo solos and just the right hint of melodies – trust me, she’s a star! Very often thrash can stagnate into a blurring run but Nervosa intelligently keep their material unpredictably fresh and always exciting across songs like ‘Guerra Santa‘, ‘Failed System‘ and ‘Intolerance Means War‘. As a seasoned thrasher this 12 track sophomore really won me over and I can now see why Nervosa are making the news all over Europe – and sure it ain’t about having 3 gals onstage!