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NervoChaos with Violentor and Cabeças Cortadas : Metal

Nov 18, 2023Nov 18, 2023

August 4, 2023J P2023, Concert Reviews0

Despite whatever complaints one may have about the London extreme metal scene – too fractured, too widespread and so on – one of its strengths is its ability to come in full force for the most relatively obscure bands in the underground. Even if this can regrettably vary at times, Tuesday night saw the small Black Heart venue enjoy a pit of eager, happy moshers for the London date of NervoChaos and Violentor’s Cthonic Odio UK Tour.

While this did show how much of the capital’s Italian and Portuguese metalheads were game, it also pushed home a fact that even in extreme metal can be easily forgotten – sometimes, simple is best.

Opening the gig with their crossover style of hardcore and death metal, London-based Cabeças Cortadas were the first to see the moshpit form immediately, as the front audience started dancing away to their fast, choppy riffs and energetic drums. Fun was clearly being had, and as the crowd grew wild with enthusiasm, the band met the challenge head-on by speeding up the pace without any signs of slowing down. Even third song ‘Trincheiras em Alerta’ kept up with this by adding more rhythm, allowing their frontman’s raw, gruff vocals to stand out more. And by the closing track ‘Fim dos Tempos’, an intense drum finish seemed fitting to their set for the night.

Step in fellow Brazilians then NervoChaos, who chose a different route with a slower build-up of musical dread before the storm. Perhaps the only band of the night to talk more with the audience, strong, menacing riffs and burrowing rhythms delivered grim aggression from the stage. While the dread intensified by ‘Passion not Fashion’, pleasure was still had when the crowd fell back into mosh-pit dancing with the catchy, fast drum syncopation on new track ‘Lullaby of Obliteration’ adding more frenzy to the set.

It feels remiss not to mention the way NervoChaos ended their set too after thanking the road crew, Cabeças Cortadas and the audience; by means of what felt like a deliberate bait and switch to tease everyone who came to see them. Promising to deliver “a short song, a fast song – a fucking brutal song”, the group chose a super-fast track of literally a few seconds (‘Pure Hemp’) before walking off stage, only to return and play an impromptu encore with a version of Misfits’ ‘Demonomania’ that actually hit all three points in a violent blast of speed.

Then came the final act and second headliner for the night, Italian trio Violentor.

Going back to the reminder that simple is best, the threesome highlighted this the best through dissonantly intimidating riffs and ferocious speed. The faster their speed, notably by third song ‘Haunter of the Anorexis’, the more dissonant they grew. (It was interesting to observe that by this point, the crowd turned to circle pits and even stage-diving in the tiny space of the Black Heart.)

However, it was Violentor’s choice to cover the infamous staple ‘Black Metal’ that seemed to say more about what they were about as a band. Notably without changing their own pace or tone, the song’s raw, unpolished template sat comfortably with the band’s original fare. It was clear how much Venom had made an impact on their filthy thrash/speed metal sound.