I’ve always felt like black metal can be put in environments much different than woods or space (despite how vast those locations can be made) because the chaos can be morphed so easily if put in the right hands. For example, Canadian band Precipices takes their black metal to an urban setting. Quite different from what we’re used to despite the music still be familiar. Stavves has done a similar thing with their debut EP taking the form of a desert being. Despite a seemingly boring landscape, Stavves uses the realm to its utmost potential.
The desert is a very unforgiving place and that’s why I’ve always found it interesting whenever a band chooses such a place as the location for their album. It’s led me to plenty of interesting albums from bands like Canyon of the Skull to Stavves tonight. The three tracks that we are given with “The Desert Gloats” is far from the most unique thing that I’ve seen for a take on post-black metal, but it’s massively entertaining nonetheless. These songs brilliantly encapsulate an overall sense of hopelessness of a sandy doom as Stavves perfectly captures all that’s menacing and terrible about being surrounded by miles of dunes or seeing nothing but towering structures of rock for miles. “The Desert Gloats” boasts a very organic feeling album that really knows when to pull back from the rugged black metal to provide us a solid retrospective that shows how well Stavves can be much more than a band that only knows how to do one kind of sound, and that’s the kind of thing we’re not greeted with often and it’s a definite welcome thing with this debut. It’s also refreshing to see how Stavves really nailed the aspect of balancing the elements of post and black metal to great effect and give “The Desert Gloats” that special quality of being able to breathe. That’s something many bands don’t do, but Stavves truly understood how to execute it and that allows this debut to become quite savory.
Debuts are the sort of thing that really needs to be taken with a grain of salt because the band in question can easily go in any direction with their next piece depending on the experience they got out of the first go. In the case of Stavves, I really hope that these guys continue down the path they started out on because I’d love to see what else this band can do for a follow-up to “The Desert Gloats”. All we can do is wait, and we got a tasty morsel to satisfy us until that time comes.
LISTEN to “The Desert Gloats” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Stavves on Facebook here.