Nervosa - Jailbreak (Napalm Records)
As the fourth quarter of the year rolls in, it can easily be said that 2023 has been packed with incredible releases from rising metal sensations. Yet, while some metal fans might have picked a winner in the fight for 'best in show', a new challenger has come forward.
Furious and merciless, Jailbreak, the fifth release from Nervosa enters the thunder dome ready to take home the title without compromise.
Originally formed in São Paulo, Brazil, Jailbreak marks the first time Prika Amaral pulls double duties as guitarist and vocalist. At her side is guitarist Helena Kotina and bassist Hel Pyre, both of Greece, and drummer Michaela Naydenova of Bulgaria. Together, the quartet welcome a new chapter in Nervosa's history over the course of thirteen searing tracks.
Kicking the door in with "Endless Ambition", the album begins with Amaral's immense roar over blistering thrash metal. While some bands give fans a few moments to get out of the pit before the mosh starts, "Endless Ambition" is a whirlpool that will instantly swallow all in its way. Fans of Arch Enemy, Behemoth, and the more gnashing Cradle of Filth song (ex. "Gilded C*nt" or "Medusa and Hemlock") are sure to love this track.
Living up to its name, "Suffocate" is wave after wave of grueling thrash and death metal goodness on par with Vader and Morbid Angel. Meanwhile the buildup of "Ungrateful" sets the tone for a wall of death, likely the first of many, into breakneck speed circle pits.
As the second single from the album, "Seed of Death" features catchy melodies before driving into ultra precise instrumentation akin to Obscura. Based on the title alone, you might assume that the title track might be somehow related to something penned by Skid Row in the late 80's. And you would be right as the structure and tone are definitely anthemic - it's as if a new school band took the classic styling and dialed up the intensity thirteen fold.
Just when it seems like there's just too much metal for one album, "When The Truth Is A Lie" pushes the limit even further with a guest solo from legendary ax slinger Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer - live). Combined with the additional vocals delivered by Lena Scissorhands of Infected Rain on "Superstition Failed", making it to the final track, "Nail The Coffin" is an accomplishment in itself.
Like any good fighter knows, if you want to win the belt, you need to make sure your opponent has nothing left in them by the end. Applying the mentality to their music, it would take something incredible to stop the queens of Nervosa from earning their place in thrash metal royalty.
The Metal Mayan review
I have found myself referring to several bands this year as the next sensation of a specific subgenre. While the bands I have in mind have mostly been formed in the last six years or so, I am confident in saying that Nervosa is thrash metal's next sensation.
Despite a 13 year long career, Jailbreak witnesses the start of a new chapter in the band's history, bringing with it the finest written songs to date. Though the previous albums have many highlights, it seems that Nervosa has found and solidified their identity as musicians, no doubt in part due to a new lineup of absolute superstars.
"Endless Ambition" is the perfect grabber to announce the dawn of a new era, and I loved the catchiness of the title track. What I find makes a thrash album an instant classic is when every part of it fits just right and you welcome it every time - like a favorite denim jacket, with the mandatory Slayer patch on the back of course. And that is exactly what Jailbreak does - melts faces in a way that fans will want again and again.
Visit your local record store and pick up a copy of Jailbreak, out now on Napalm Records!
Advanced copy courtesy of Freeman Promotions and Napalm Records