Nervosa, Perpetual Chaos (Napalm Records 2021)

The thrash is verily raging from the new metal set by Nervosa.

Nervosa began in São Paulo, Brazil just over ten years ago. Brandishing a rugged version of classic Thrash, the band released three albums over the years, the new one making four. Founder and guitarist Prika Amaral is joined by three new musicians for Perpetual Chaos: Diva Satanica (aka, Rocío Vázquez, on vocals), Mia Wallace (bass), and Eleni Nota (drums). It is a truly international band, with the three new members hailing from Spain, Italy, and Greece.

The new set is made up of thirteen songs – that’s a good number. Brevity is the call sign with these three minute furies, speeding as they do to bowl you over before you can tell what hit you.

“Venomous” is the no-nonsense opener that cracks and zips with fist punching riffs, blast beats, and a rollicking lead break. The vocals snarl into the Death Metal range, adding a sinister touch to the sound that matches well with the wicked themes – witness the next song, “”Guided By Evil.” Apart from the ever-present up-tempo, there are a lot of approachable hooks and fan-pleasing choruses that’ll be great live when the crowd sings along. The pressure is on all the way to the final track, “Under Ruins,” which, itself, is one my favorites.

There are a few guest appearances to add to the variety and season the mix, including by Guilherme Miranda (Revolta), Schmier (Destruction), and Erik A. K. Knutson (Flotsam and Jetsam). The album is imminently listenable and bears re-spinning at its end. The newest incarnation of Nervosa has definitely thrown down the gauntlet with this one. Recommended.

Perpetual Chaos is out now. All sorts of versions and merchandise are available at the Napalm Records site. The band has its own store, too, and there is always Bandcamp. Consider yourself hooked up.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://nervosa-brazil.bandcamp.com/

Website, https://nervosaofficial.com/website/english-home/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/nervosa

Napalm Records, https://napalmrecords.com/english/nervosa.html

Nervosa, Perpetual Chaos (Napalm Records 2021)

Blessed By Perversion, Remnants Of Existence (2020)

Remnants Of Existence is the newest album from Blessed By Perversion, following up on their 2016 debut long-player Between Roots And Darkness.

The band entered the vibrant Greek metal scene in 2012 with their Destroy The Image Of God EP. Since then they have been working their way through the caverns of heavy music, making consistent progress and expanding their fan base. The basic style is a crowd-pleasing Death Metal crossover that will appeal to listeners of many different metal subgenres. The musicians are Manolis Kouelo (guitar), Kostas Foutris (guitar), Andreas Moschopoulos (vocals), Vaggelis Nanos (bass), and Vasilis Nanos (drums).

There are five songs on the EP plus a quiet, tense intro piece. “Gallery of Bones” sets the pace with steady rhythm and percussion alongside the gruff, intelligible vocals. The composition is very approachable, being neither dense nor highly complex, and the song includes a tasty lead break. “Atonement Refused” picks up the pace, moving toward the high end of mid-tempo, and including a couple of 80’s metal guitar warble homage moments. “Among The Tombs of Absent Gods” and “Caverns of Torture” establish viable bridges to the closer, “Within Monumental Chaos.” This song is my favorite of the set, and has perhaps the darkest tone and excellent rhythm and percussion elements. The bass line and the lead guitar are the most challenging here too, showing the breadth of expression the band is willing and able to display.

Remnants Of Existence is out now, and the quickest pick-up is at Bandcamp. Get some more metal in your 2021. Recommended.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://blessedbyperversion.bandcamp.com/album/remnants-of-existence

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/blessedbyperversion

Blessed By Perversion, Remnants Of Existence (2020)

Exarsis, Sentenced To Life (MDD Records 2020)

With their fifth album Sentenced To Life, Exarsis fulfills your need, your need for speed.

Greek band Exarsis has been flying the flag for Thrash and Speed Metal for ten years. Under Destruction was their first long-player in 2011, and since then they have been they have been lashing the shores with a new guitar tsunami every couple of years. The band is now Nick Tragakis (vocals), Chris Poulos (bass), Chris Tsitsis (guitars), and Panos Meletis (drums)

Sentenced To Life is perhaps a little more approachable to crossover fans than some of their earlier music with more emphasis on melody, but the speed is still there and it rolls you right over. They play an old school brand of Thrash, touched by the nearly forgotten style of Speed Metal. The result is a credible case for whiplash.

First up on the record is “Cen$ored,” an intro bit that starts with a crackling voiceover that is increasingly heavily bleeped and distorted on the way to the first wailing high-octane song, “Another Betrayal.” Tragakis gives us high register vocals matching up with the stunning speed of the guitar riffs and lead blasts that are so wilting your ears are a little behind on getting all the notes in.

The percussion is at pace as well, pummeling like a cavalry at full charge. You can really hear the intense drumming on songs like “The Truth Is No Defense” where it seems to defy physics. Every song has outstanding attributes and they all call out to be heard again. The ones I hit more than a couple times were “Mouthtied” for the amazing passage in the middle of the song and “Interplanetary Extermination” for its sheer blaze. Fantastic. Recommended.

Sentenced To Life could be flowing into your brain right now. It is available to buy from MDD Records through Bandcamp and you can listen on the usual variety of streaming services.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://exarsis.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/exarsis

MDD Records, https://mdd-records.de/

Exarsis, Sentenced To Life (MDD Records 2020)

Black Soul Horde, Land of Demise (2020)

Heavy riffs are pulsing from the Greek Islands as Black Soul Horde release their second album.

It has been a while since we heard new music from Athens heavy metal band Black Soul Horde. Their first album, Tales Of The Ancient Ones, came out in 2013. There have been a lot of twists and turns since then, but, whatever road had to be traveled, the journey was a success because the new album is a showcase of old school metal. The primary driving force in the band is John Tsiakopoulos (guitars and bass), who also did all the producing and technical studio work. John is joined on Land of Demise by Jim Kotsis (vocals) and Costas Papaspyrou (guitar solos), with session drumming by Vasilis Nanos.

The musical style is a classic brand of heavy metal with clear New Wave Of British Heavy Metal roots. You can hear this in the vocals particularly but also in the rhythm and riffs. The percussion is more on the contemporary metal side and this overall combination seasons the songs for a crossover palate.

“Stone Giants” gets things started with a confident thumping tick and growing feedback consolidating into a theatrical opening (ala Vivian Campbell on Holy Diver, say). You start to get a sense of the scale of the musical composition as early as the second song “Into The Badlands,” where elements of epic metal show through, the drums really start roar, and a generous lead break makes its appearance.

Fantasy strands are persistent in the narrative themes and they shape the overall feel of the album. The songs are held in the four minute range, making them confrontable. The final songs are every bit as strong as the ones in the middle and the beginning. Indeed, the lead work winds up to new levels near the end in “Lord Of All Darkness” and, the closer, “Iron Will,” is a raging torrent with sinister outro. This album is definitely throwing up sparks. Recommended.

Land Of Demise had been delayed for a little while because of the pandemic. The digital is out now, with a CD release slated for December 14th, followed by the vinyl early in February.

Links.

Bandcamp, http://blacksoulhorde.bandcamp.com

Facebook, http://facebook.com/blacksoulhorde

Black Soul Horde, Land of Demise (2020)