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Album Review

One of the more mainstream and melodic of Trent Reznor-inspired, industrial/alternative rock bands, Stabbing Westward released their major-label debut with Ungod. Christopher Hall rages hard, singing over the grinding guitars of Stuart Zechman, the thunderous rhythm section (bassist Jim Sellers and drummer David Suycott), and the drenching keyboards of Walter Flakus. The songs don't distinguish themselves from each other much, but the tribal drumming and wailing guitars drive some catchy melodies and create a mood. "Control" is given a shot of adrenaline by the throbbing bassline and the midsection of "Nothing" has an attention-getting, jackhammer riff. And at moments, like "Lies," the band almost comes across as a less playful White Zombie. The lyrics range from bleak ("Lost") to bleaker ("Nothing") to bleaker still ("Lies"), but the beat of the music is infectious and kinetic. As to whether the grimness that permeates Ungod is cathartic or wallowing is subject to individual tastes.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Macomb, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Vocalist Christopher Hall and keyboardist Walter Flakus met in 1985 and formed the industrial rock band Stabbing Westward in Chicago. They released an EP in 1990, and recruited guitarist Stuart Zechman, bassist Jim Sellers, and drummer David Suycott. In late 1993, Columbia issued the band's major-label debut, Ungod. Although the album wasn't a success, the group promoted it relentlessly, touring constantly and doing scores of interviews. The groundwork paid off in 1996, when the group released their...
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Ungod, Stabbing Westward
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