The stateside touring lineup of Nervochaos yesterday in Richmond, Virginia. Credit: Courtesy the artist

I knew Nervochaos was playing at Reggie’s on Monday, but it surprised me a little to discover that this veteran Sao Paulo death-metal band had been booked on the venue’s small stage—at the Music Joint, not the Rock Club. But I guess Nervochaos’s stature in Brazil hasn’t yet translated to a similar audience in the States.

They certainly haven’t come to Chicago often, and even this trip—with Florida-based band Insatanity—has been a difficult one. Nervochaos guitarist Lauro “Nightrealm” Bonometti couldn’t get his visa approved in time, and he’s been replaced on the road by Joachim Kremer of German thrash band Assassin.

Drummer Eduardo “Edu” Lane founded Nervochaos in 1996, and he’s the only original member remaining—almost 20 guitarists, bassists, and vocalists have passed through the lineup in 19 years. Bassist Felipe Freitas joined in 2010, and both guitarists—Bonometti and Hellsakura front woman Cherry—are new since the release of the band’s most recent album, last year’s The Art of Vengeance.

Fortunately Nervochaos plays ripping, meat-and-potatoes death metal, not the sort of fiddly technical stuff that would tax a last-minute replacement player beyond reason. Indebted to punk and thrash in its simplicity and rawness, this robust music feels engineered to thrive in any environment: even in halls with modest PA systems, where stage volume tends to obscure fine details, its blunt gestures ought to hit hard.

You can listen to all of The Art of Vengeance below. And to you north-siders who like to complain about how far it is to Reggie’s: Do you now how far it is from Sao Paulo?

Philip Montoro

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.