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STRESS (Live 'n' Memory) CD

Those of you who are strongly interested in the Brazilian metal scene of the early 1980's will already know the band STRESS. Originally formed in 1974 under the name PINGO D AGUA, the first record has been released in 1982 and has become a sought after collector's item over the course of time. They established a musical style that was influenced by bands like Tank (UK), Judas Priest and Motörhead, but STRESS never managed to make an international breakthrough even though the band was a pioneering force in the field of speed-driven heavy metal. Since then much water has flown down the Amazonas but for a few years now STRESS is back in buisness. 'Live 'n' Memory' is no new album, but a compilation of live tracks that have been recorded in May 2005 and four demo tracks from 1986. Additionally, there's another demo song from 2005. Altogether that makes sixteen songs and the album has a total running time of 78:08 minutes. Not bad! But also the extensive booklet contains tons of informations and rare photos, but unfortunately it's all written in Portuguese.

Nevertheless, the guys at Metal Soldiers Records put a lot of work into this CD and even the sound quality from the live show at 'Gasômetro Theatre' is surprisingly good. The setlist includes a lot of songs from the first two records and it is clear that STRESS haven't lost their fire. So it's not surprising that the audience was really enthusiastic at that night, and the pictures prove that the band has been hailed by their fans. The songs are packed with razor-sharp riffs and catchy hooklines. Roosevelt "Bala" Cavalcante strong vocals are located in higher reagions but are nonetheless aggressive. 'Folha no Vento' reminds of the early years of STRESS and has more in common with Led Zeppelin than with Tank or Motörhead. By contrast, the 1986 demo is surprisingly weak, which is also because of the band's musical change of direction. Not much is left of the hard-edged metal sound. Instead, the four songs heading towards a more radio friendly hardrock direction, including cheesy keyboard sounds and everything else I don't like. I assume that only the most loyal fans will enjoy this demo, but fortunately the focus is on the live show, which is really very entertaining, no doubt about it.