"The Art Of Vengeance"

By Lord Randall

Brazilian death is a beastly beast. Say what you want about SEPULTURA these days (if it’s derogatory, you’re probably right), but up until 1991’s Yog-Sothoth-adorned "Arise", you’d be hard pressed to find a band from The Land Of Waxed Pubic Areas that didn’t owe at least a “obrigado” to Messrs. Cavalera, Kisser and Xisto Pinto Jr. for clearing a pathway out of that jungle.

Beginning in 1996, coinciding strangely with the time in which the aforementioned foursome started to waiver, NERVOCHAOS is a worthy throwback to those early days on the one hand, a document of a band stuck in said time on the other. The brilliantly-titled ‘Passion Not Fashion’ leans way over into punk territory during the chorus, something that was popular during the CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER/DRI days, dialing in the memories of skateboards and stolen beer.

Things don’t really slow down until ‘The Devil’s Work’, an unexpected lead break a little past halfway through letting in a few moments of melody before ‘Betrayed’ ratchets up to the redline again in terms of speed. I would like to see founder and drummer Eduardo Lane really cut loose into some hyperspeed attacks now and again, but over the course of "The Art Of Vengeance", those bludgeons are few and far between. Thankfully, one of the album’s high points follows in the low-slung, churning malevolence of ‘From Below And Not Above’, and ‘Shadows Of Destruction’ shows Lane upping the ante in his speed, something that could be focused on in the future to help set the band apart from the masses in which they currently dwell. ‘The Legacy Is Pain’ bursts from the mid-paced ‘What Is Dead May Never Die’ but only to pave the way for the brontosaurus stomp of ‘Lightless’, where the brutality is kicked up several notches and – though never moving above a merciless plod, NERVOCHAOS show they know how to hold a listener’s attention just fine, thank you.

While not breaking any new ground, and being about as original as a grilled cheese sandwich, NERVOCHAOS has given us something to help tide us over until KRISIUN (please soon) or ABHORRENCE (where are the now?) shove a new album out. And for that, we say obrigado.