Stabbing Westward’s Chasing Ghosts Is a 90’s Intervention For an Unspecified Drug Addiction
In many respects, it feels like we’re back in the ’90s. Russia is at the forefront of international strife, inflation is on the rise, and industrial rock is reclaiming the airwaves. Long before the Internet ushered us into a radical new age of communication, business, and influence, we had much more serious music leading popular culture (and the counterculture, for that matter). Thankfully, Stabbing Westward has graced us with Chasing Ghosts, a new album full of provocative heaviness and enticing melodies that feel tailor-made for times of social and economical collapse.
Chasing Ghosts kicks things off with the track “I Am Nothing,” which delves into sentiments of hopelessness and self-doubt – which, if you know Stabbing Westward, will be a recurring topic throughout the album. Riding on the track of the seriousness of a life on the verge of disaster, this song showcases Christopher Hall’s menacing and precise vocals better than ever before, and sets the tone for the record to come. With its hammering synth rhythms and massively distorted guitars, the track exemplifies Stabbing Westward’s patented roughness and grit. Venturing further into the album, songs like “Wasteland” and “Control Z,” continue to highlight Chasing Ghosts’ harsher side, providing pounding percussion and melancholy tones reminiscent of early Nine Inch Nails. Many people have felt self-reflective, lonely, and angry as a result of the last few years’ turbulent changes, and Stabbing Westward’s return is just in time to help assuage some of those desolate emotions.
I say “return” because after listening, you might not believe this band hasn’t put out a full-length album in over 20 years. Stabbing Westward, regarded as one of the most catchy industrial rock outfits of the previous quarter-century, have not only developed lyrically and musically, but have also managed to put together a serious, poignant emotional punch to the gut for today’s rock and metal audiences. This is an excellent opportunity for new listeners and lovers of bands such as Thrice, 3TEETH, and Emigrate to check them out. Simply put, if you want to feel bad, nothing feels better than this.
Stabbing Westward’s Chasing Ghosts is out now on COP International. Watch the lyric video for “I Am Nothing” here.