NervosaThis is one of those times as a reviewer that you find yourself a little non-plussed. If you see the list of luminaries lining up on the PR sheet to praise this Brazilian thrash crew (Max Cavalera, Bobby Blitz, Andreas Kisser to name just three) I’m going to sound like a right party pooper. Still, I got this to review so here I am. This is their debut so that also has to be taken into account.

What we get is a really aggressive take on thrash metal, a right old early Kreator style ripping with a serious nod towards a more deaththrash style in there. Nope, no high-tops or cartoon beer bongs here, just head down modern aggression. And on the face of it, Victim Of Yourself does and admirable job of it: There is no denying the full throttle attack on show here; the riffs are dense, heavy and tight; the drumming is fast and solid; and the vocals are ridiculously good in a snarled, biting way that leaves you in fear of your throat. There is energy and aggression and they are a pretty tight bunch too. There is every chance that any gig with them on stage will be hard pressed not to open out into a fine mosh pit with that amount of drive and fire to them. So all good?

Ah, no, not really. The problem I have is that try as I might I just cannot find any single song to get worked up about. I guess Ínto Mosh Pit’ has a tentative chorus hook and ‘Uranion Em Nos’ has a road drill, repetitive addiction about it, but beyond that the issue remains. We get twelve tracks, forty five plus minutes of pretty much the same pace all the way down the line. Yes we get the odd time change but nothing that is hook laden, nothing to pull you in. We get lead breaks, occasionally, but mostly the songs are left to the driving riff. They all, every one, hammer down, thunder through and leave at the same speed and beyond a wake of destruction I am left with very little to remember them by.

I have spun this album repeatedly, I have cut it down into chunks, I have listened to individual tracks but whilst the sound and the playing is impressive to say the least, the songs just make no impression on me at all. It’s such a shame as I so wanted to like this album, so very much. There may be an argument that if I don’t like this I just don’t get modern thrash, but I have to disagree. I just feel that, first time out, the songwriting has not stepped up to the mark set by the band themselves.

Still, Max, Andreas and Bobby disagree so who am I?

They will improve their songwriting chops, I have no doubt, but here, now, it’s a definite pass from me I’m afraid. My apologies.

(5/10 Gizmo)