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Stabbing Westward

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Distance yourselves from your own ignorance.

Yes, to those familiar with Stabbing Westward, their sound has indeed changed. Gone is their penchant for electronic sampling to bolster the already agressive landscape laid out by their thundering guitars. This void allows them to explore more cathartic territory however, by utilizing a time-honored, straight-forward brand of rock. Albeit a brand of rock with more melody, atmosphere, and dare I say - emotion than anything they've shown us prior to this release. If this new direction had been a poor fit and a resulting failure, I could identify with those who cry foul. None of these assertions are true, however, which leads me to wonder just what said individuals where hearing when they came upon the conclusion that this album paled in comparison to those which came before it. While the band does take on a slightly different persona, (one which embodies a more balanced gamut of emotions) it doesn't seem like a big stretch whatsoever. There are still moments on the album that punctuate their masculinity in much the same way as before. The difference is that now they approach the songs with a closer eye on the overall picture. It's obvious that these songs were considered chapters of a story, and not just rock soundbytes lumped onto one disc. If anything, it's a welcome departure from their metallic exorcism. As good as Industrial Rock was during it's peak, it was very much a fad and had worn-out it's welcome long before this album hit store shelves. If those who pose as die-hard fans can't see this album for the glossy rock gem that it is, then apparently their loyalty lies with the genre and not Stabbing Westward.

Dispair Yes... With More feeling

I'm a longtime Stabbing Westward fan, and although this album is not the black heart of darkness, angry, hopeless abyss bomb that some were expecting. This album has added demension and depth to an expansion of sound that still carries dispair, longing and enough sonic punch throughout to carry this good outing upright. Many good rock outfits have blended a pop rock sensibility into their repoire and had pretty good songs.... Soundgarden, Filter, STP, and NIN to name a few. One of the biggest standout changes is when instead of the usual whisper and scream under the shuddering blasts, Chris actually sings on I Remember. Don't get me wrong... I still think SW have some of the coolest hard industrial jams out there. I think though that this added level of demension, makes for the most listenable album throughout ever in their catalog. It is a good piece of work, even if you are upset that it is not heavy all the way through. My wife actually likes this album a lot. Worth it for... So Far Away, The Only Thing, I Remember, and most of the album.

A Different Direction

If you were a fan of what Stabbing Westward did on Wither, Blister, Burn and Peel and Darkest Days, this album may leave you wondering "What happened to Stabbing Westward"? Honestly, I don't think this is that much of a departure, it's just a little different in presentation. Baslically, take the verses to "What Do I Have To Do?" and tone them down 3 speeds and that's the direction a lot of this album was heading. If you really only dug the "Shame" and "Save Yourself" Stabbing Westward, you won't get much of that here. I for one am comfortable with Stabbing Westward going in this direction. I don't look for them to fall forever into attempts at somewhat more mainstream rock. I think that their fans that miss the harder, industrial side of SW aren't going to be left out to dry, but if you've never heard Stabbing Westward or can deal with a mellower side of them, you might dig some of what this album is trying to accomplish. Some of the lyrics and rhythms come off as a bit cliche. It's the kind of album that you put on in the car with the windows rolled upbecause you'd never want your friends to know that you actually kind of dig it. I disagree with the "official review". Throw "I Remember" and "Angel" on a mix tape for a girl you're into and watch them swoon at your "softer side". It works like a charm.

Stabbing Westward, Stabbing Westward
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