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The Anonymus Seal of Quality - 97%

drjuyss, May 12th, 2021

We are in 1997. After a good debut album, Anonymus releases their sophomore record, Stress. Stress is a will from the band to get a more international audience, hence two songs written in English, one in Spanish and another in Italian. This record brings Anonymus a step higher in terms of songwriting, musical performance and production. While still being technical, the album is very fast and powerful.

The energy is firstly audible on vocals. Singers Oscar Souto and Marco Calliari both get their respective signature tone on this album, the first having a low-mid ranged shouting vocal, and the former, a distorted high pitched screaming. Knowing how Calliari's career will turn out a few years later (easy-listening folk music), it's kind of weird, while still fun, to hear him yell the hell out througout an entire blasting metal record. Lyrically, the band improved a lot compared to the previous album, themes being more personnal and meaningful. This is mostly due to the fact that Stress was written during a stressful period of the band career. I personnaly prefer this kind of thematic for French-speaking metal over the recurring fatalistic engaged songs.

Musically, Stress is an agressive fast technical thrash metal fest beginning with the headbanging Anonymus anthem titled Sous pression (Under Pressure). This song is a recurring live track and for a reason, it has everything needed to be a great Anonymus song: expressive shouted in-your-face vocals, fast blasting drumming, chaotic well-contrasting guitar riffing and a straightforward sound. Never this intensity will fade out within the album. Ad Vitam Aeternam is the song focusing the most on heavyness, while being still quite fast. There are also a few experimental songs, This Life being the weirdest all over the place track of the bunch. Calliari's abrasive yelling really stands out on this song and the baby cries at the end add a touch of eerieness. Other great moments from the album are Un poing c'est tout (One Punch That's All) incorporating blast beats for the first time in an Anonymus song, Maquinas (Machines) witch is the only Spanish song out there incorporating a nice postapocalyptic vibe, and Un pied dans la tombe (Cradle to the Grave) with the best interaction between guitar and bass from the album.

Despite those preferences, it's easy to say that all tracks worth a listen on Stress. The general production is precise and polished while maintaining a very raw and agressive soundscape. Stress is also an album that clearly defines the band identity, associated with the use of the French language in most of the songs, and a straight to the point heavy metal with no compromises. This is where you should start on a journey througout the headbanging Anonymus discography.

Favourite songs : Sous pression (Under Pressure), Un poing c’est tout (One Punch That’s All), La vérité choc (The Brutal Thruth), Maquinas (Machines), Un pied dans la tombe (Cradle To The Grave)