NERVOSA “Agony” 

MORTILLERY “Shape Shifter”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Is thrash metal a woman’s game? Seems like it’s starting to edge that way. Thrashing bands with female vocalists and members are becoming more and more common. Trying to lead this new pack of she-wolves are Nervosa from Brazil and Mortillery from Canada, both with new records out on Napalm Records.

I like the primitive rawness that Nervosa brings to the table. These gals don’t flirt with thrash…they grab it roughly by the hair and kiss it brutally on the lips. Some have complained about the simplicity of their sound, but that’s what attracts me to them. The guitar sound on “Agony” is very rough and heavy, definitely more unpolished than Mortillery’s. There’s good straightforward punk in songs like “Arrogance”, “intolerance Means War” and “Hypocrisy”. Even the song titles are right out of Discharge. But Nervosa is more thrash than D-beat and I can smell their fellow Brazillians Sepultura in the air, too. They simply don’t fuck around and that’s their chief attraction. One weird exception is final song “Wayfarer”, which features bluesy soul vocals and a more standard metal approach. It’s interesting but strange.

Mortillery are not an all girl band, but their vocalist and one of the guitarists are of the fair sex. They play their thrash in the vein of Arch Enemy meets classic Bay Area, with a lot of energy and a bit more shine than Nervosa. Cara McCutchon screams like a banshee for most of “Shape Shifter” but actually has quite the nice melodic voice when she chooses to use it, as on the title track. Leads are more technical and melodic here, too. I like the energy of “Bullet”, “Black Friday” and “Torture”, but I have to give the nod to Nervosa for being rawer and more authentic. That’s not a big knock on Mortillery, because they are certainly not bad.