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MASTERPIECE LOST IN THE TIME - 95%

blackdeadheart, October 14th, 2007

In the 3rd and 4th days of August of 1982, in only 16 hours, in a sound table with only 8 channels, Stress had recorded the first Brazilian heavy metal album, the self-entitled “Stress”. And what album!

When “Sodoma e Gomorra” begins, the fast drums sound arrives striking loud and sending us to the incipient speed metal of the late 70’s. It’s how Venom, Motörhead and Judas Priest gathered. Roosevelt “Bala” screams like the devil (a lot before Tom Araya…). This track has a great first guitar solo, and the second is better yet, very, very fast and almost “noisy”, ending the track and opening the album of a way that turn us anxious for the rest of the disc.

The second track follows the speedy line of the first one. It’s like listen to a Judas Priest user of anabolic substances. Then it begins a sequence of tracks more "heavy", “traditional” and slow. “2031” has an exciting bass intro and the entrance of the keyboard sends us to the great bands of the early 70’s like Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple. Its lyrics reflect the mechanicism and coldness of the current world: “Eu nasci chorando/Do susto que tomei/Fiquei sufocado/Pelo cigarro que o mundo fumou/Os holofotes do carro/Quase me deixaram cego”. Like this the album goes on ‘till the fifth track.

It’s important to say, the fourth track, “O Oráculo do Judas”, that is the more 70’s one (we can Imagine Robert Plant singing this, or Jimmy Page playing its riffs and solos), was the more played music in the early 80’s in the Rio de Janeiro Rock’n’Roll radios, impelling Stress to the success of that time, and “Stressencefalodrama”, the fifth track, was the first own composition of Stress. This track has another great lyric, striking strongly on the system of censorship and torture adopted by the Brazilian authorities of that time. Various tracks of this album had suffered alterations on the titles or lyrics, due to the censorship of that time.

In “O Viciado” and “Mate o Réu”, the speed metal is back. “O Viciado” also has great lyrical parts, denoting as the men are susceptible to the domain of the routine. The lyrical work of this album presents a lot of quality and maturity for a band constituted, in 1982, just by youths. After the intro of “Mate o Réu”, we are sure that Lemmy Kilmister will appear with his thick voice to roar the lyrics… What speed! What riffs! What solos! What music!!! The neck is already hurting too much at this point…

The intro of the last track, “O Lixo”, gives the idea that will come one more missile, but soon afterwards appears a sad and slow melody. Lyrically, maybe this track is the most representative, denoting with fidelity the hardness of the life of the uncovered ones and the disregard of who could help. Problems of this unfortunate land called Brazil… This track alternates soft moments and fast and aggressive speed metal. It’s a "grand finale".

The remastered CD version brings a bonus track, “Inferno Nuclear”, that had entered in the set-list of the second album, “Flor Atômica”, of 1985. It’s just a competent heavy song that shows the despair of who lives in a city devastated by the war.

“Stress” is a pretty heavy/speed metal classic album, constituted by excellent guitar riffs and solos, fantastic lyrical work and a lot of energy and fury. It’s not the thrash metal that “Bala” cries but it’s, for the music of that time, really extreme. If Stress had been formed in the USA or UK and sing in English instead of Portuguese, maybe it would be a giant like Venom, Motörhead and others. Instead of this, Stress plays just one time by year, while rumors of a new album are spread, however without official confirmation.

“Stress”, of 1982… Another forgotten great album, of another forgotten great band…