Back in 1998 while I was waiting for a new Nine Inch Nails record, an album was released by Stabbing Westward that would hold my attention for years to come. Darkest Days is the album I’m talking about. Stabbing Westward took their industrial influences a few steps further on this album without sacrificing their knack for writing catchy melodic songs. Singer Chris Hall’s anguish, pain and suffering all show through in his vocal performance. Something I found interesting about the album is that it’s actually a concept record. It’s made up of 4 parts, with each depicting a different emotional phase after a break up. The Tracks 1-4 is about sabotaging the relationship. Tracks 5-9 is about lust, hope, and longing. Tracks 10-12 is about hitting rock bottom after it’s all over. The final part is about recovery and self-respect. When I found that out a few years back, the album made a lot more sense to me. I’m sure most of you will remember the song “Save Yourself,” as it was the first single released for the album. But there is way more to the album than just that song. Songs like ” Everything I Touch,” “Drugstore,” “You Complete Me,” “Haunting Me,” “When I’m Dead,” “Torn Apart,” and “On Your Way Down” are absolute standouts. That’s not to say that the other songs aren’t as good, these ones just always seemed to have a lasting effect on me.
Stabbing Westward called it quits in the early 2000’s. Chris Hall went on to start the band The Dreaming. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them a few times over the years, and he is still one hell of a singer and frontman. During the early years of The Dreaming it wouldn’t be shocking to hear them play a couple Stabbing Westward songs live. It was announced recently that Stabbing Westward will be reuniting for a show to celebrate their 30th anniversary, but in Chicago. Let’s hope it goes well, so we can get a full on reunion tour!!!
Stabbing Westward- Darkest Days: