Nervochaos – Chthonic Wrath

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Nervochaos - Chthonic Wrath
Nervochaos – Chthonic Wrath

Reviewed: March 2023
Released: 2023, Emanzipation Productions
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Simon Wiedemann

Nervochaos are a Brazilian death metal band on Emanzipation Productions, who are for fans of Possessed, Sinister, and Morbid Angel. Their latest album ‘Chthonic Wrath’ was released on 31st March 2023 on CD and digital formats. It was mixed and mastered by the American Brendan Duffey, a man who has worked with Nervosa, Angra, and Andre Matos. He was extremely impressed with the material he worked with. It’s brutal and glorious with a renewed energy. Even though the act are in their 26th year, they are hungry for more and will only be adding to their thousands of stage hours. LP track ‘Tomb Mold’ is a fantastic acoustic guitar interlude recorded by Brazilian traditional music researcher Ricardo Vignini. Fascinating stuff.

For a death metal band the distortion used for the riffing here is pretty mild. Maybe I’d compare it to ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ era Slayer. It’s an interesting sound, it shows that there’s more to the genre than being as noisy as possible. I wouldn’t say the music here is thoughtful, but in a weird way it does have a certain DM intrigue that stays in the mind, I think. There are even some heavy classic rock style riffs thrown in from time to time which would sound weird for most bands of the genre, but because of the distortion, it does work. The lead guitar distortion is a lot hotter, but far from ugly sounding. The more melodic (to put it very mildly) Joe Satriani has used far more extreme sounds. The notes used in the soloing on the other hand are far from anything special. The playing is a little scrappy at times, again I’m thinking of Kerry King’s attempt at shredding. There is some impressive pick tapping to be heard, but other than that I think such parts spoil the music just a tad. The drums are nice and natural sounding. Not overly thick and powerful, in that respect they have something in common with the guitar riffing. Another pleasing effect.

The songwriting is a little repetitive at times and the riff note choices are mostly pretty standard. You get lots of chromaticism and speed picking, (again!) think Slayer but often with a few more shifts in tempo and feel, and grunted vocals. Even so, the whole package is good for what it is – an uncomplicated yet fast album that is more about creating a less heavy retro vibe than scaring the listener to death. The lyrics in the album (the one’s I understood I mean) are nowhere near as subtle as the production. Track ‘Taphephobia (Google tells me it means fear of being buried alive) keeps going ‘I’m not dead!!!!’ over and over again. There’s nothing too wrong with it, but I mean for a death metal band? It does seem a little uncreative. Final track ‘Weed Smoker’s Dream’ really does stand out as the most intense. Not just because of the furious tempo, the ‘singer’ grunts in a truly rampant way, it really does get the heart pumping. It’s a shame the track was a one off, as I haven’t heard music as genuinely thrilling as that in a very long time! It rivals if not exceeds the chaotic ‘Pleasure to Kill’ album by Kreator, but the style is very different. 

In conclusion, this is an enjoyable album especially if your tastes are more old school and it’s certainly very easy to get into with its tried and tested formula. However, it could be improved with more thoughtful riff developments rather than mere ‘riff switching’ so to speak. It could also do with more expert shred soloing. Having said that, there is nothing really wrong with changing material quickly if done well. Maybe some of the album highlights were the more extremely contrasting moments such as the speedy guitars in ‘Falling’ changing to ultra crushing doom in an instant and then back again not long after. I keep comparing the band to Slayer, but the drumming isn’t quite so skilled, here. The beats are certainly quick, but they’re nowhere near up to the speed of more typical blast beats found in bands such as Nile and the fills are fairly basic. Again, nothing wrong with that, if anything it’s part of the band’s charm, just don’t expect the most raging music you’ll ever hear for the most part. Recommended! 



1. Son Of Sin
2. Chaos Prophets
3. Kill For Pleasure
4. Taphephobia
5. Tomb Mold
6. Lullaby Of Obliteration
7. Torn Apart
8. Arrogance Of Ignorance
9. Avant-garde
10. Falling
11. Descending Into Madness
12. Perpetual War
13. Ouroboros
14. Weed Smokers’ Dream

Band line-up:

Luiz “Quinho” Parisi – guitar
Woesley Johann – guitar
Edu Lane – drums
Pedro Lemes – bass
Brian Stone – vocals