NERVOSA – Jailbreak
LABEL: Napalm Records
RELEASE: September 29th, 2023
AUTHOR: Paul Hutchings
01. Endless Ambition
04. Seed Of Death
07. Behind The Wall
08. Kill Or Die
09. When The Truth Is A Lie (feat. Gary Holt)
10. Superstition Failed (feat. Lena Scissorhands)
11. Gates To The Fall
12. Elements Of Sin
13. Nail The Coffin
It’s a new chapter for Brazilian thrashers NERVOSA, who have experienced several changes within the ranks since their last album, 2021’s “Perpetual Chaos”. That album saw the last recordings with vocalist Diva Satanica, bassist Mia Wallace and drummer Eleni Nota. This left Prika Amaral as the sole founder member of the band, and on “Jailbreak” we find her now back on the vocal duty that she briefly performed over a decade ago. Amaral is joined on “Jailbreak” by Hel Pyre on bass, guitarist Helena Kotina and drummer Michaela Naydenova.
First impressions are good. The album is fast, punishingly fast, with the intricate playing of the band gelling tightly. For a band that have looked set to implode on several occasions, it’s heartening that they are able to turn out such energetic, driving songs. The opening trio are a true sandblast to the face, if a little repetitive in style. Amaral has one vocal style, a gruff bark that spits out the lyrics with no little venom. Her delivery becomes a little tiresome towards the mid-part of the record, and the lack of variation in song structure throws into question their creativity.
Opener “Endless Ambition” is an explosive track, full of visceral power, whilst “Suffocare” sees the band tackling toxic relationships. A calmer, gentle intro to “Seed Of Death” soon dissipates into another no-nonsense thrasher, albeit with melodic breakdowns and guitar harmonies that at least provide a distraction from the more bludgeoning approach.
Whilst Nervosa have been an entity for over 13 years, one must almost judge this as essentially a new band. Comparisons with the previous line-up for “Perpetual Chaos” are difficult not to make, with Satanica’s vocal delivery probably slightly stronger than Amaral. However, the latter doesn’t let herself down, but as I noted earlier, the slightly one-dimensional style doesn’t really aid the overall feel for the album.
Whilst the band deliver their thrash with relentless ferocity, tracks such as “Sacrifice” and “Kill Or Die” tend to blur. It’s a different story when we reach “When The Truth Is A Lie”, for the arrival of one Gary Holt provides some muscular riffage that powers the song forward with a new vigour. That Exodus/Slayer vibe is present, and the lead breaks are searingly hot. It’s one of several key moments on the album. “Superstition Failed” sees guest vocals from Lena Scissorhands, the dynamo voice of Infected Rain and Death Dealer Union. It’s a dark track, again featuring some ferocious lead work.
Perhaps it’s unsurprising, given the name of the album, that the main themes throughout the album are about individuality, breaking free and following your own direction through being proud and having strength in what lies within. Admirable messages that flow through the songs. Other lyrics centre on society, in a critical, direct way, something that many bands are favouring now.
Whilst I’m critical of the band’s somewhat repetitive style, and 13 tracks is too long to maintain the interest without occasionally drifting, what they deliver is as tight and aggressive as any other thrash band around. The final duo of “Elements Of Sin” and “Nail The Coffin” ensure that “Jailbreak” concludes with a bang not a whimper. Overall, this is a solid thrash metal album that sees the new chapter for NERVOSA start with plenty of positives. If you enjoy full-faced thrash metal played with high skill levels and high passion, it is definitely worth getting a copy when it drops.