Stabbing Westward
Darkest Days


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
July 12th, 2007 | 27 replies | 13,076 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stabbing Westward's definitive album, full of everything that anyone ever liked about any of their other albums... modern rock put through an industrialized mixer.

If there were a definitive Stabbing Westward album most would agree that it is this one. This is the album where they brought back the industrial elements that were lacking on the last album. In fact, they’re used even better than on their first album, Ungod. In addition to the return of the industrial influence, the songs on this album are just as catchy as anything from Whither, Blister, Burn, and Peel. When you combine the best features of their previous two albums you end up with the album that most fans would refer to as Stabbing Westward’s peak.

Even though this is their best album, things don’t get off to a very good start. The first three tracks are basically throw-away tracks. The first two, "Darkest Days" and "Everything I Touch,” both seem like album intros that drag on for too long. The third track, "How Could I Hold On,” is obviously a song and not just an intro, but it still suffers from the same problems in that it’s highly repetitive and doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. It is not until track four, "Drugstore,” that the album really kicks into high gear. It begins with a high-pitched, pulsating synth line, then a lower pitched synth comes in and finally a wall of guitars. When the vocals come in, it becomes obvious that Stabbing Westward is back with renewed vigor.

Most every song thereafter is near perfect, containing a sense of anger and use of electronics not even seen on Ungod. The guitars are in your face and have a crisp sound, and the electronics are darker and used much more often. Also, Chris Hall’s vocals have brought back the pissed-off and anguished edge they hadn’t had since their debut. If I remember correctly, in an interview they stated that this album was in response to some of their fans lamenting the loss of their edge on their second album - if so, they more then made up for it.

It’s worth repeating that even though this album showed a renewed aggression and industrial influence, they definitely didn’t lose their ability to write a catchy melody or chorus. Songs such as their first single, "Save Yourself", manages to be more industrial than rock and, yet, is still one of the catchiest on the album. It uses an almost danceable beat, the screeching guitar featured extensively in Ungod, and Chris Hall’s vocals bouncing above it all. Other songs in this vein would include "Haunting Me,” and "Waking Up Beside You.” This album also revisits Stabbing Westward’s tendency on the last two albums to write a few very slow songs that almost seem more like bridges between the song before it and after it. The ones on this album are similar to the past ones; mostly synth, depressing, without a defined hook but still good.

Anger, aggression, a renewed use of electronics, a very sharp and overbearing wall of guitars, Chris Hall’s anguished lyrics and vocals, and a great ear for hooks is what ends up making this Stabbing Westward’s best album of all time. Despite the fact that this album stumbles through its first three tracks, the final 13 more than make up for it. This album is highly recommended for all Stabbing Westward fans as well as those who might be disappointed by the last few outputs from Nine Inch Nails.



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user ratings (126)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2007



15730 Comments


You don't really need to include the EXPLICIT. No one here really cares.

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

Willie
Moderator
July 12th 2007



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't add the explicit... I just wrote the review, someone else had already uploaded the album and all of its information.

Edit: I just remembered that I can change up the info on the album after writing the review, so I will get rid of it now... but I was just using the existing album that was already present on the site.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2007



15730 Comments


Ok cool *thumbs up smiley*.

Nice review, though I've never heard anything by these guys.

P.S. You didn't enjoy Year Zero?This Message Edited On 07.12.07

Willie
Moderator
July 12th 2007



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I enjoyed "Year Zero" much more then "With Teeth", I guess I'm still just holding out for Pretty Hate Machine Part 2 ;)

I'm like a kid on Christmas that wants a pony, and he gets everything he ever wanted, but not the pony, so he's still disappointed...

tribestros
July 12th 2007



918 Comments


No offense but I'll pass on the PHM Pt. 2.

Year Zero was about as close to PHM Pt. 2 as we'll get.

CushMG15
July 12th 2007



1802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually really like Darkest Days as the opener, but you're right about the other two being disposable. This is a really great album. I generally don't like a lot of synth work, but its money on this disc. Good Review too.

Willie
Moderator
July 12th 2007



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

tribestros, you're right... Year Zero is probably as close as we'll get... but I can dream ;)

CushMG15, I think Darkest Days would be a great opener if it went right into "Drugstore"... but when those other two tracks come after it, it just feels like the first of three boring songs...

Kaleid
November 7th 2007



710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I liked this review. Good job.
This is the only album of theirs that I've heard, but I like it. Have they done anything as good?

Willie
Moderator
November 7th 2007



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would have to say that they haven't done anything else near as good as this. Their first album has some really cool songs on it too, but they're not as developed as the ones on this album. Basically, unless you find "Ungod" used somewhere (or free, I guess) then you've already heard their best album anyway... and the rest are safe to ignore.

Kaleid
November 7th 2007



710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh...well, that's a shame. Never heard Ungod

Willie
Moderator
November 7th 2007



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, if you find it used or acquire it through the net, then it's worth getting. I wouldn't bother with the other two though.

PayneTiger777
January 9th 2009



4388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like this album a lot and there are some really great songs to accompany it. Darkest Days is a creepy and awesome intro. Desperate Now, Haunting Me, Drugstore, and The Thing I Hate are also great, but Waking Up Beside You is probably the best track on the album. Everyone hates Chris Hall now because of that shitty ass band he is with now.

Phantom
January 9th 2009



8930 Comments


Stabbing Westward...so close to Stabbing Westwood. God, I wish that would happen.


EDIT: Tim Westwood = Annoying 40 year old plus, UK hiphop/rap radio DJ, who still thinks that he's "down with it"This Message Edited On 01.09.09

Willie
Moderator
January 9th 2009



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey, I don't appreciate you guys dragging out my very first reviews... it's not cool ;)

Everyone hates Chris Hall now because of that shitty *** band he is with now.
Yeah, The Dreaming is shit. Nothing that any of the other members did after SW was any good either. The Clay People album was ok, I guess.


DeadToPain
July 1st 2009



694 Comments


"The Thing I Hate" is fucking amazing. I pull it out once a year or so, and still love it.

SteelErectedb4you8er
February 15th 2010



2616 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, I am just busting this album out for the first time in a while. You know, it is still a good record.

JWT155
February 15th 2010



9213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love Save Yourself.

SteelErectedb4you8er
February 15th 2010



2616 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah dude. I remember reading a horror novel and listening to this album at the same time. And it just clicked.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2010



5999 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent album.

i wish i could get the rest from Stabbing Westward.

In addition, terrific band name.

Digging: Troldhaugen - Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez

Willie
Moderator
December 30th 2010



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why can't you get the rest? This was my third review. When Electric City and I posted on this review neither of us were even staff. He was a nicer guy back then ;)0



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