Stabbing Westward – Chasing Ghosts (2022) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Stabbing Westward – Chasing Ghosts (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 51:09 minutes | 627 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © COP International

Recentering themselves over two decades after 2001’s excellent but misunderstood self-titled LP, ’90s alt-metal survivors Stabbing Westward revive their peak industrial-goth sound to maximum effect on the long-awaited Chasing Ghosts. Following that most recent full-length, this returns the band to the quintessential sound of their heyday: corrosive mechanizations set to driving beats and urgent delivery of scathing, self-flagellating lyrics. For this iteration of Stabbing Westward, Orgy alumni Carlton Bost (guitars) and Bobby Amaro (drums) join founding members vocalist/guitarist Christopher Hall and programmer Walter Flakus. With early producer John Fryer in tow, this is the album that fans were likely expecting as a follow-up to 1998’s Darkest Days. Exploding to life with the cacophonous “I Am Nothing,” everything from the downcast lyrics, desperate delivery, and crunching sonics ticks off all the boxes on the checklist (without falling into nostalgic retread territory), transporting listeners back to a time when Gravity Kills was still a thing and Nine Inch Nails were writing a follow-up to The Downward Spiral. “Dead and Gone” and “Wasteland” have the same potent effect. As the former bashes and bleeds its way over a pogo-drum assault and clanking breakdown, the latter track is a no-frills storm of discordant guitars and muscular drumming fit for a post-apocalyptic hellscape. “Cold” is anything but, a throbbing merger of early NIN and Depeche Mode that, at times, sounds eerily familiar to a song Bost and Amaro should be familiar with: Orgy’s take on “Blue Monday.” “Damaged Goods” lays a thick pulse over borderline-sensual deep breathing (think Pretty Hate Machine), before a distraught Hall screams, “Don’t try to save me” atop a chaotic riff breakdown. Of these classic industrial anthems, “Control Z” is an absolute standout earworm that might have been a radio smash in another era. With shimmering new wave gloss and a buzzing underbelly, it manages to find the Venn diagram sweet spot between anyone who has ever felt regret in a relationship and those familiar with keyboard shortcuts. Amongst the rage and aggression, Chasing Ghosts also features a handful of restrained and thoughtful midtempo cuts aimed at the heartstrings and tear ducts. While “Crawl” and “Ghost” put Hall’s heart on his sleeve — a pair of anguished slow burns for the self-titled fans — the seven-minute epics “Push” and “The End” imagine a reality where the Cure were the ones who recorded Wither Blister Burn & Peel. Of this quartet of mosh-pit breaks, “Push” is a centerpiece statement, swirling through the ether of a beautiful synth expanse that finds Hall at his most heartbroken and earnest. Altogether, Chasing Ghosts is Stabbing Westward’s most focused and potent statement to date, an unexpected feat that arrived decades later than expected. It’s what fans have been waiting for for over 20 years.
– Neil Z. Yeung

Tracklist:
1-1. Stabbing Westward – I Am Nothing (04:03)
1-2. Stabbing Westward – Damaged Goods (04:41)
1-3. Stabbing Westward – Cold (03:48)
1-4. Stabbing Westward – Push (07:28)
1-5. Stabbing Westward – Wasteland (04:47)
1-6. Stabbing Westward – Control Z (05:04)
1-7. Stabbing Westward – Crawl (03:30)
1-8. Stabbing Westward – Dead & Gone (04:27)
1-9. Stabbing Westward – Ghost (05:44)
1-10. Stabbing Westward – The End (07:31)

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