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Album Review

On their perplexing 1994 self-titled debut, Southern originals Stressball manage to defy most expectations of what heavy metal should be, or at least what it usually is: fast-paced, overwhelming, and LOUD. Instead, unnaturally subdued heavies like "Dust," "Colum," and "Empty Promises" casually contradicted these seemingly inexorable maxims with patient, slow-burning intensity. Like Pantera playing at half the volume and half the speed (double kick drums and all), Stressball cook up a mysterious gumbo of sound that combines elements culled from death metal, hardcore punk, and Southern sludge. And if comedic legend Sam Kinison had a son singing for a heavy metal band, he may well have sounded like Stressball screamer Steven Gaille. Far more intriguing than necessarily great, this album is unquestionably unique, and it's therefore little wonder that Crash Music eventually unearthed it for reissue in 2003.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

New Orleans' Stressball were formed in the early '90s and consisted of vocalist Steven Gaille, guitarist Lennon Laviolette, bassist Eddie Dupuy, and drummer Joseph Fazzio. Building their unusual sound from a number of heavy metal and hardcore influences, the group released...
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