Stabbing Westward – Darkest Days (1998)

Oh man, 1998 was a time to be alive… or rather dark in this regard. Chicago based industrial rock band Stabbing Westward released their third album, and it seems to barely get the recognition it deserves, which is a shame because this is by far their finest hour.

How this is not yet released on double vinyl is beyond me (I blame Columbia, who are also the reason why Clutch’s The Elephant Riders is still out of print), because this album is literally divided into four parts to reflect the ugly concept of breaking up: shock and anger (tracks 1-4), guilt and longing (5-9), extreme depression (10-12), and the slow bumpy road to recovery (13-16). It even flows as such, most notably with the dip from “Sometimes It Hurts” to the somber melodies of “Drowning”. At the end of it all, it may not indicate a total recovery from it all, but it’s bittersweet to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I actually ended up picking up my copy of this at a sidewalk sale a month after a break up, and as cliche as it may sound, it’s actually helped me out to greatly reshape my life for the better as well. Definitely worth a second shot if you’re asking yourself that.

RIYL: Machines of Loving Grace, Nine Inch Nails, 16Volt

P.S. Yes, that is a sticker of Chuck Mangione with the Black Flag logo in propane tanks tattooed on his wrist.

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