As much of a disdain as I have for trite cliches and pagan mythology, I can’t resist but to compare Stavesacre to the Phoenix that rises from the ashes, in this case the ashes being seminal christian thrash/punk band The Crucified. As renowned in the 1980’s christian punk and metal scene as one can be, The Crucified’s demise was inevitable, as many of the band’s who found popularity in a fringe scene’s fringes can attest to. The Crucified’s lead vocalist Mark Salomon went on to do what so many who have the music bug do: create another band. That band was Stavesacre. Shortly after forming the band was signed to upstart, independent label Tooth and Nail Records. Stavesacre released their debut album, Friction, in the summer of 1996, and boy was it ever an album. The album itself hits you like a sledge hammer. From the opening of “Threshold” onward the listener is in for a heavy, at times moody set of songs. Musically the best I can describe the band, if we must pigeonhole them, is as “hard alternative”. However everything from hardcore to post hardcore to nu-metal can be heard in their sound. Some of my favorite songs are the melodic, moody “At the Moment”, the aggressive, building “Tranewreck”, and the soothing, nearly 10 minute album closer “Stars & Clouds”. With their debut, Stavesacre did a great job of building an identity completely separate from, and eventually greater than that of The Crucified. This is where it all started for one of the best, most original bands in the christian rock scene.