Stavesacre 

Title: Absolutes 
Artist: Stavesarce 
Label: Tooth and Nail Records  

Stavesacre delivers on their second cd a deep, hard-core blessing. The songwriting on this record is strong, profound, and musically kicks. These four veterans of the Christian hard-core scene form a supergroup with its own sound: Dirk Lemmenes on bass, Jeff Bellew on guitars, Sam West on drums, and Mark Solomon on throat. We all knew Mark could yell, but who knew he could actually sing? Mark uses inflection and dynamics to pack these songs with power and emotion! All these guys play hard and have come up with a well-produced, meaningful record. The songs talk to God about our failures, and talk for God about His patiences toward us. Good news for those of us who fall short too often. The lyrics are one of the best things about this record, but they're not easy to find unless you notice the web site address on the liner. The only thing wrong here is that there  are only ten songs again. Oh well, I'll just have to listen to it twice. --Tony La Fianza 

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With Absolutes, Stavesacre's follow-up to Friction, Mark Solomon and company have once again put together a quality album. The production, handled again by Brian Carlstrom, and musicianship are superb, resulting in an album of great heavier alternative rock. My only complaint is that Absolutes isn't much of a change from Friction. With the exception of a beefed up drum sound (thanks to the addition of ex-Scaterd Few drummer Samuel West), there is very little progresssion in sound from previous albums. If you liked Friction, you can't go wrong with Absolutes. If you didn't, you're not missing anything new. --Linc Lefeiste 

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Stavesacre is one of those bands I can't listen to very often. They're just too mesmerizing, putting me in a hypnotic trance of pure pleasure, so that I literally can't turn them off.  When I originally heard their first album, Friction, I didn't care too much for it.  As I gave it a few more spins, however, I was pulled in deeper and deeper, realizing that Stavesacre isn't music meant to be listened to casually. I'm still hearing new things from it every time.  It stirs my emotions. And now I've got to deal with Absolutes!  I wouldn't say there's much new ground broken here, just more of the same -- the same progressive heavy alterna-metal (a la Tool, Only Living Witness) combined with Mark Salomon's passion-drenched vocals (with a little more variety perhaps); and a fully textured mesh of massive rhythms and raging guitars pulled taut around a sometimes seething, sometimes serene, explosion of emotion!  This is inspiring music and inspiring art, with lyrics you'd want to study and decipher so they can cut to your heart (if you can find the hidden lyric sheet).  It's going to take me a while to absorb the personality of each song so I won't attempt any specifics here (But I love that military drumroll near the end of "Wither/Ascend." And the acoustic track--let's have more of that on the next one!). Just go buy the album and be mesmerized along with me. Yeah, boy.-- Josh Spencer 
 

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Absolutes is my first experience of Stavesacre.  The first couple times I listened to it, I was not impressed.  It was very good alternative rock with a heavier edge, and the production was excellent.  Otherwise, I didn't find anything special about it.  What really turned me off was Mark Salomon's vocals--too nasal for my tastes.  A lot of people I talked to really raved about Stavesacre, though, so I was persistent and kept listening.  After five or six listens, I found myself humming some of the tunes, even singing along.  Now it's found a permanent home in my CD changer, and I play it about once a week.  The more I listen, the more I find to like about it -- the energetic and very technical music, the incredible lyrics, the skilled musicianship of the members.  I still don't care for Mark's vocals, but because of the music and message, I can stand them now.  I just consider it part of the Stavesacre sound. -----Mark Aylor 

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