Despite all the line-up changes during two decades of their career, Brazilian death metal band Nervochaos still maintains their winning formula. At least to some extent. Raw, heavy and brutal riffing adds special, sometimes even primitive and 'dirty' (in a positive sense) charm to their slightly blackened sound. Their central lyrical themes are still satanism and mysticism. By the way, one of the best songs on the album is appropriately and explicitly named ''Ad Majorem Satanae Gloriam''. Lauro Nightrealm's growl is appealing, sometimes pretty much understandable and it certainly adds even larger dose of sheer, raw brutality to the 'big picture'. Eduardo Lane, drummer and the only still present founder of the group, makes sure that stomping and rather repetitive rhythm kicks hard from moment one right to the end. Periodically, there are tempo changes; blistering faster sections interfere with slower parts that sound like they are lurking from the bottom of a dark, murky swamp.
There are a lot of interesting moments on ''Nyctophilia''. Almost monumental ''Moloch Rise'' is a great opener. A rather spooky spoken intro adds special flavour and atmosphere to ''Season of the Witch'', and songs like ''The Midnight Hunter'' or ''Rites of the 13 Cemeteries'' are simply furious all the way. Dark and energetic atmosphere continues with tunes such as ''Vampiric Cannibal Goddess'', which uncompromisingly cuts the air like the Grim Reaper itself, while Lane's drums beat as a gigantic mechanical hammer. ''Dead End'' contains a very short part where Thiago Anduscias's bass can be heard more audible above other instruments. ''World Aborted'' maybe has a sort of clichéed beginning, but it contains an interesting, simple but pretty much unpredictable guitar riff.
''Nyctophilia'' is a quite balanced album. It never becomes really boring and too repetitive, mainly because all songs are rather short; somewhere around three, three and a half minutes. Only the running time of the final song, ''Live Like Suicide'', exceeds four minutes. ''Live Like Suicide'' is a strong piece; there are a few very well placed changes of pace and the song is brought to an end in almost disturbing and haunting fashion. All in all, bits and pieces remind me of early Sepultura – but they aren't so murky – and, here and there, of some European (blackened) death metal bands. Of course, Nervochaos has its own distinctive sound and it hasn't worn out yet. There's a fresh – but quite experienced – and relatively new line-up in the band, so we can hope that there will be more good things in the future. Of course, there are some clichéed and not so original parts on ''Nyctophilia'', but it's a very good album. Certainly a potential pleasure for (sub)genre buffs.