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ALBUM REVIEW - STABBING WESTWARD, CHASING GHOSTS

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It’s not often that I can listen to a new release from cover to cover and walk away feeling excited about every song on the album.  Even more rare is saying that when the band in question hasn’t released anything substantive since 2001.  Well, I’m here to tell you that Stabbing Westward’s upcoming release, Chasing Ghosts, may be the exception to that rule.  While only 10-songs deep, it captured me from the very first note of “I Am Nothing” and keep me engaged until the final crescendo of “The End”.

With complete transparency, I’m a huge fan of Stabbing Westward.  Since their earliest releases, I was always enthralled with their obvious love for all things industrial while at the same time cultivating their own unique sound in a scene filled with heavyweights such as Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and Depeche Mode. As most fans were, I was really disappointed when they suddenly fell off the map after their self-titled release back in 2001.  I get those creative differences with management can (and do happen), but always felt Stabbing Westward were once again on an upward trajectory and their disbandment at that point was gutting to say the least.

Fast forward to spring 2022.  We’ve fought through two years of Covid, world tensions are high as a result of the Ukraine invasion and Stabbing Westward goes and decides to drop their own bomb with the release of their latest, Chasing Ghosts.  Produced by legendary John Fryer, this 10-track ‘instant classic’ immediately showcases the unique talent that is Stabbing Westward.  Both Christopher Hall and Walter Flakus have outdone themselves with a solid release that captures the bands true essence and their signature sound from beginning to end. And being able to accomplish this after a near 20-year recording hiatus is even more special.

While true Stabbing Westward fans will be in awe of Chasing Ghosts, I honestly believe it will attract a new generation of fans looking for something different in their music vs. a cookie-cutter world filled with the ‘same-ol-same-ol’.  Singles like “Dead and Gone”, “I Am Nothing”, and “Ghost” are absolutely amazing.  However, when one digs a bit further into tracks like “Control Z”, “Crawl”, and “The End”, the magic of this album truly begins to be cast.  Chasing Ghosts sound is eerily familiar, yet hauntingly different and that is why this release is so special.  And after a couple of spins around the block, I think you’ll probably be just excited about Stabbing Westward’s latest as I am.  It’s really that good.

 

Photo courtesy of:  Erika Vincent

Matthew Belter

Editor - Long Beach

Website: iceboxphoto.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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