“It’s coming to an end my friend.”

WORDS BY ALI GRICE

What do you commonly associate with Belgium? Tintin? The fascinating art of René Magritte? Atmospheric sludge metal? Potentially even the invention and subsequent globalisation of the French Fry? Well if you answered all of the above you’d be absolutely correct. But why haven’t you heard of Stake yet? Well they’ve been hiding in plain sight. Fresh to the scene they released their debut album Critical Method towards the end of 2019 to matching critical acclaim from music media channels Everything Is Noise and Deadpress. Their sound oozing with gloom and decay, their slow brooding melodies stretched out across a lucid, lost soundscape.

Ever the pioneers, Belgium post-metal foursome Stake have just released a particularly poignany video for their single Devolution, reflecting their response to the current coronavirus crisis sweeping the globe. Despite the single never being intended to address the current crisis, it couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time.

Stake made a statement on their Instagram addressing the release of the Devolution video.

“We were not planning to release this single at this time, but everything about it is so scarily fitting to the state of the world we are currently living in, and once we started to think about it, and about the video, it all just made a lot of sense to us.”

This track paints this image of a protagonist dragging their feet through a post-war landscape. This isn’t a ballad for those losing hope. It’s an anthem for those that are already so lost there is no way back. The lack of sugar coated lyricism shows vocalist xx is coming to terms with his own mortality, and accepting a sordid fate. The sludgy Deftones-style down tuned riff is the perfect platform for the collapsing drumming and indistinct fuzz to create a feeling of loss. Even the video, compiled of bizzare stock footage was unable to be exported by the band on iMovie, and the final product is the screen of a laptop being filmed – shakes included.

Through the haze, the poignant lyricism and rhythmic grooves are a far cry from their usual post-metal sounds, instead coddling the listener in a burnt, grey rag, offering this false sense of comfort.

“It’s coming to an end my friend.”

This phrase eerily rings out as the track’s indulgent outro suffocates you in gloom. An alarming but true commentary on the current pandemic, as cities and towns grind to a halt, whilst a faltering economy is overwhelmed with responsibility to support the vulnerable. Admittedly we don’t need more music to act as a reminder of our struggles, but this is life imitating art and is more relevant than ever before.

FOR FANS OF

Cult Of Luna | Conjurer | Deftones

LISTEN TO DEVOLUTION HERE

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