Stavesacre's fourth album, the phonetically spelled (stavz'a'ker), is a remarkable leap from the band's work on Tooth and Nail. Once mired down in the muck of depressing alternative metal, through time Stavesacre has turned into a tight and dynamic emo group. First, they've managed to balance the mix of guitar and vocals perfectly, with Mark Salomon's dark moan carrying beautifully over the fuzz-drenched guitars. Boasting huge choruses, several intense musical breakdowns, and some truly inspired guitar work from Neil Samoy and Ryan Dennee, (stavz'a'ker) is just the kind of album the band needed to take the next step. Lyrically, the group's simple cries for love and sympathy are perfectly fitted to the music, offering an optimistic take on a genre known for its heart-wrenching songs. But Salomon's background as a born-again Christian gives the music a potency that is infectious; the positive messages and thoughtful ideas found within inspire multiple listens. Walking the line between harsh aggression and melodic radiance with ease, (stavz'a'ker) is the culmination of seven years of hard work that has resulted in a very satisfying album.
by Bradley Torreano