01. I Am Nothing
02. Broken Items
06. Management Z
10. The Finish
There was a time when bands like STABBING WESTWARD gave the impression of the longer term. Purveyors of a bombastic however streamlined pressure of commercial rock, the Illinoisian crew launched three main label data within the ’90s and acquired loads of vital acclaim within the course of. Closely influenced by NINE INCH NAILS, DEPECHE MODE and MINISTRY, however undeniably distinctive in their very own perpetually gloomy manner, STABBING WESTWARD have been very a lot a band of their time. Twenty-one years on from what was assumed to be their ultimate, self-titled and independently launched studio album, the band led by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Corridor are again to posit the notion that they’re very a lot a band of this time, too. Superficially, “Chasing Ghosts” means that nothing a lot has modified over twenty years, however someway this sounds each bit as well timed as its predecessors.
For these hoping for a worthy successor to 1998’s “Darkest Days”, “Chasing Ghosts” works very onerous to suit the invoice, at the least early on. The one actual draw back to STABBING WESTWARD‘s fourth album is that it’s so clearly front-loaded with its catchiest tunes. Opener “I Am Nothing” is all textbook gothic angst and industrial churn, “Broken Items” owes far an excessive amount of to NIN‘s “Head Like A Gap” and “Chilly” makes it a neat hat trick of box-ticking anthems with a stomping cyber-disco beat and a deadly refrain hook. Thereafter, nevertheless, “Chasing Ghosts” blossoms into a much more attention-grabbing file. “Push” makes no bones about its debt to THE CURE, nevertheless it’s solely a passing resemblance: because the music evolves, it turns into a towering, stately arena-rock anthem, with a unprecedented Corridor vocal that completely guarantees to succeed in the individuals within the low cost seats. “Wasteland” returns to STABBING WESTWARD‘s protected place, with chunky MINISTRY-style riffs and a giant, easy chorus, however “Management Z” jitters and bleeps like a metallicized CABARET VOLTAIRE, underpinned by a sledgehammer pulse and infectious digi-riffing. “Crawl” is a considerably perfunctory alt-rock ballad, and arguably the album’s weakest second, however that momentary lapse is forgiven and forgotten as soon as “Useless/Gone” skitters into earshot, with its effervescent, faux-techno underbelly, and bursts of riotous robot-metal. Equally nice is “Ghost”, which gleefully cranks up the rasping ’80s synths amid a whirl of grinding mechanics and pop sparks. Impressively, Corridor‘s voice sounds stronger than ever all through.
The closing “The Finish” is the one second on “Chasing Ghosts” that dares to assume absolutely outdoors the field. An undulating haze of black atmosphere hooked up to a splendidly melodramatic melody, it offers a darkish, dubby and progressive distinction to all the things that precedes it. It additionally means that STABBING WESTWARD might solely be scratching the floor of their renewed potential right here. Both manner, it is good to have them again.
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