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Nervosa's New Lineup Makes Their British Debut In London

Photo of Nervosa

Band Photo: Nervosa (?)

It was just over a year ago when I last saw Nervosa, during their co-headlining tour with Burning Witches. Thirteen months later and a lot has changed. Nervosa's founding guitarist Prika Amaral has now taken over the vocalist spot from Diva Satanica, while Michaela Naydenova now sits behind the drum kit, where Eleni Nota sat last time the band performed in the Underworld. Nota's departure didn't remove the Greek flavour though as Helena Kotina and Hel Pyre have now joined the ranks as lead guitarist and bassist respectively. So with all this having taken place, fans were eager to find out how this new lineup sounded.

Opening the show were two local bands, the first being Die Ego. The London trio released their latest EP, "74 Days Staring At The Void" a little under two months ago and the material sounds very strong live. The group has a very strong stage presence and comes across well, exceeding the expectations of those in attendance who admitted before the show that their studio recordings weren't to their liking. Obviously the material isn't familiar enough to me to know the setlist, though I do remember one of the songs they performed was "Consumed By Mediocrity," which was enjoyable. All in all, a promising young band with a good repertoire.

Following Die Ego, we had our second band from the smoke, Cogas, perhaps the most extreme outfit of the night. Playing a mix of black and death metal, the band took no prisoners when it came to showcasing their music and all members were noticeable for their own looks, particularly vocalist Piero Paranoia, who clung to the mic with his hair over his face like a metal Joey Ramone. Cogas, like Die Ego, show a lot of potential and there were plenty in the crowd who really enjoyed them. It'll take some work, but Cogas are an interesting bunch that could be something special in the future of British extreme metal.

So far, so pretty good, but no one in the Underworld could have prepared themselves for what was to come next. Enter Plaguemace, a death metal quintet from Horsens, Denmark, who put on the kind of show worthy of any headliner. To my surprise, the band has only released one single and one EP so far, but labels looking for the next big act need to get their eyes on these Danes immediately. From the moment they took to the stage, which couldn't have been any later than ten minutes after Cogas finished, they endeared themselves to the audience with their tremendous sense of fun and brutal music. There were jokes, bizarre stage moves and by the end, vocalist Andreas Truelsen was off stage and screaming into the microphone among the crowd... While balancing bassist Ruben Brandt on his shoulders. Plaguemace really kicked the evening into full gear and those who were here would no doubt attest to how entertaining they are. Go and see them, you deserve it.

Finally, it's time for the evening's headliners. Sidetracking for a moment, I have a bit of a history with Nervosa, having not only attended their first show in the UK back in 2015 when they opened for Cryptopsy and Brujeria, but also conducting my first in person interview with then vocalist/bassist Fernanda Lira, now of Crypta. Since then, Nervosa has grown massively, with four albums under their belt and a fifth on the way, though unfortunately they've become the butt of unnecessary jokes owing to the lineup changes since their third album, "Downfall Of Mankind." Regardless, with their new lineup in tow, Nervosa are currently storming across Europe showcasing the undeniable talent of their new members, as well as being the first chance for fans to see Prika Amaral's new role as frontwoman.

As mentioned, the talent of the musicians is undeniable and thankfully, they come together as a unit to create a ferocious live show. Much like last year, the set was heavily focused on their latest full length album, "Perpetual Chaos," with no less than ten songs being showcased from the album, though longtime fans will be happy to know that there were a few more old favourites added to the setlist from the "Victim Of Yourself" and "Downfall Of Mankind" albums. Amaral does a really good job in her new role, engaging with the crowd very well (despite one obnoxious West Ham fan's best attempts to shout over her and sing "Forever Blowing Bubbles" while she was talking, like a massive twat.)

The new rhythm section is brilliantly tight too, performing with absolute precision from the first song to the last, while Helena Kotina shines like an absolute star with her enormous skills and charisma. New single, "Endless Ambition" was brought out as the penultimate song, teasing the quality of further new music, before the show finished with "Under Ruins," the closing number from the aforementioned, "Perpetual Chaos." This new incarnation has all the potential in the world to prove the doubters wrong and perhaps release the best album in the band's history so far. We'll see on that front, but in the meantime, Nervosa are as exciting live as ever.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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