In a world where just about everything has been done in all mediums, for a band to attempt to be relevant, many feel a wheel has to be reinvented. While numerous listeners want to find that band to take their musical interests to strange new heights, there are still more than a hefty share of people who do not wish to hear someone pretentiously attempting to reinvent said wheel. Furthermore, there are many newer bands releasing aggressive music to suite the needs of those wanting to just hear something tried and true. Enter Stress Angel from Brooklyn, New York who somewhat recently released their first full length album titled “Bursting Church” in the year 2021. As the cover indicates, this is for those just innocently searching for some good old fashioned church burning music.
Featuring the talents of drummer/vocalist Manny Sores, from other acts such as Barrow Wight, Natur, and Cuchemar, this debut has some rather listenable tunes primarily in the vein of Old School Death Metal. Presented here are 11 songs totaling to about a 41 minute load time. This band does not waste much time, which is great for those wanting their music in short pummeling spurts of energy along with tempo changes. The music on this album is primarily rather grim, yet the personality bursts into flames at the listener in what results to be some rather enjoyable Death/Thrash with Black Metal themes. Aside from the what might arguably appear as the most vivid burning church on an album cover I have ever seen, the music does not really focus on being evil, especially in the track listing; it just simply is. After listening to this several times, I can state that this duo does not come off as try hard posers, they seem to love writing organic feeling occult themed tunes.
The tempo here has some organic moments of powerful speed as can be heard on tracks such as “Exposure to a Disease,” yet features unforgettable melodies. The tone of the album is heavy as can be heard on the song titled “Starving in a Closet.” The sound is dirty in the best way, as the musicians focus on being listenable while centering on being grim and Thrashy. If you prefer your Death Metal slightly toned down from rampaging Australian acts such as Destroyer 666 or Hobbs Angel of Death, then this could possibly be the perfect album for you. When the tempo slows down, which is quite often, the percussion can be felt in your heart while the almost discernible growls are swallowed by the instruments. The vocals themselves were not so much the point, but serve as a stable background for the heaviness of the sound. Music was definitely prioritized first on this release. “Bursting Church” is not recommended for those requiring pronunciation in their vocals. This is worth a few listens for those wanting tried and true occult Death/Thrash without fake sounding triggers. (Old Man Stares)