The band formerly known as Steak Number Eight is back with a brutiful (Brutal + beautiful!) new opus that’s not so much the next logical progression from the Stake rebrand on 2018’s Critical Method but more a gargantuan leap up the evolutionary ladder of heaviness into what could be the Belgium quartet’s final form.
But I digress.
Was there always this much screaming on Steak Number Eight? Because there is here. Abrasive yet atmospheric throughout, Love, Death and Decay is a jarring journey that begins with the pretty frelling epic title track featuring that aforementioned throated scream melting paint and faces before transmorgifying into a serene sonic trip and then relinquishing control into the heavy again for an opening kicker that’s a little more Black Metal and a lot less bong rippin’.
“Deliverance Dance” is an apt title with a boot scootin’ shuffle laid out as the intro as Brent Vanneste’s clean vox get a chance to really shine amidst monstrous teases of the rip roarin’ roller coaster of rumbling riffage that lay ahead with Cis Deman accompanying Vanneste on guitars. “Zone Out” is a low end ready rawker with Jesse Surmont’s bass work front and center on a track that’s like a mash up of old and new Killing Joke styles (Think Night Time colliding with Pylon) while “F*ck My Anxiety” captures all those feels with a manic, frenetic offering that’s like The Dillinger Escape Plan at their most mathematical as drummer Joris Casier traverses the ever-changing sonic terrain with ease.
“Queen in the Dirt” is a gnarly shred fest that goes hard for a glistening Metal romp, “Deadlock Eyes” continues the march towards aural supremacy with a burgeoning boogie that’s bloated with enough bombast to fill your favorite stadium, and “Ray of the Sun” is almost ten minutes of dreamy Psych Rawk that comes across like an expansion of “Planet Caravan” that only gets bigger and more bold the deeper within listeners get. Concluding with “Dream City”, Stake continues that morph toward the final form bringing a decidedly more accessible close to album number six as Vanneste ends things with a final screeched refrain that delivers just the right amount of discomfort over this otherwise delectable last trip.
Love, Death and Decay releases on September 30th through Hassle Records. Pre-order your copy now in a variety of formats by clicking here and for the latest from Stake, follow the trail of socials when you head here, here, or here.