Stabbing Westward surprised fans Friday with the release of a new covers EP. The four song record, Hallowed Hymns is an interesting presentation that will tide fans over while they wait for the band’s new album, Wasteland, which was scheduled for release this year, but has since been delayed until 2021. The record proves itself as appealing as it is in part because of its featured covers. This will be addressed shortly. The arrangements connected with the chosen songs. This will be addressed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. All three elements are important in their own way to the whole of the EP. All things considered, they make the record an enjoyable musical treat for Stabbing Westward’s fans and for industrial rock and metal fans alike.
Stabbing Westward’s surprise EP Hallowed Hymns is a pleasantly surprising musical treat for audiences. That is proven in part through the record’s featured songs. The EP is composed of three covers and a remix of one of the covers. The covers are that of The Cure’s ‘Burn,’ which was featured in the soundtrack to the movie The Crow, Ministry’s ‘(Every Day Is) Halloween,’ and Echo and the Bunnymen’s ‘The Killing Moon.’ Stabbing Westward’s “Devil’s Night Mix” of ‘Burn’ rounds out the record. ‘Burn’ marked the second time that The Cure was connected to The Crow. The first was when another of the band’s songs – ‘The Hanging Garden’ – had its lyrics featured in the comic book that spawned the movie. That the movie’s creative heads would think enough of the band’s music and that connection to include a new song for the movie’s soundtrack is a statement in and of itself. While ‘Burrn’ was not one of the main singles from The Crow’s soundtrack, it still has stood the test of time in its own right.
‘(Every Day Is) Halloween’ stands on its own merits. It has been highly respected by Ministry’s fans and goth fans alike. It, along with it’s a-side companion ‘All Day’ has become a fan favorite, too.
Moving on to ‘The Killing Moon,’ the song is considered by the band’s fans as its greatest song of its catalog. It also proved to be one of the band’s highest-charting singles. It reached #7 in Ireland, #9 in the UK and #12 in New Zealand. It has also been featured in the soundtracks for famous movies, such as Donnie Darko, The Girl Next Door, and Grosse Point Blank. In other words, this song has stood the test of time just as much as its counterparts also featured in this EP. Simply put, between this record and the EP’s other featured works, Stabbing Westward has chosen here, a selection of songs that is well-known and beloved by the fans of the bands that crafted the works. They are not unknown works. To that end, they in themselves will ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment. They by themselves are just part of what makes the EP work as well as it does. The band’s take on the songs adds its own interest to the record.
Stabbing Westward’s take on ‘Burn’ largely stays true to its source material. A side-by-side shows that the only real difference between the renditions is that Stabbing Westward’s version just adds the band’s signature touch to the song. That touch is the keyboard-driven approach that has made Stabbing Westward’s songs so unique within themselves and in comparison to other industrial/electronic rock acts out there. This is certain to appeal to fans of The Cure because Stabbing Westward did not try to alter the song from its original form too much while also giving the song a nice added touch.
In comparison, the “Devil’s Night Mix” of ‘Burn’ gives the song even more of an extra punch. Once again, the song stays largely true to its source material. What is different in this case is that the band increases the prominence of the keyboards and electronics even more than in its initial cover of The Cure’s original work. It’s something that audiences will appreciate even more.
Stabbing Westward’s take on ‘(Every Day Is) Halloween’ is another interesting presentation. While it does stay somewhat true to Ministry’s original composition, the band’s influence is far more noticeable here than in the original work. What’s more, Stabbing Westward’s cover is shorter than Ministry’s song by almost two whole minutes. Just as noticeable is that the record scratching (very much a hip-hop element) that was so prominent in Ministry’s original work is nonexistent in Stabbing Westward’s update. Odd as it may seem, that element actually adds to the song. It is especially audible in the original song’s bridge. Keeping all of this in mind, it is not to say that Stabbing Westward’s take is bad. That is not the case at all. It just is likely to split audiences even as enjoyable as it is. In this critic’s ears, it is enjoyable. It just has a unique identity separate from its source material. That in itself makes the song worth hearing.
Examining the cover of Echo & the Bunnymen’s ‘The Killing Moon,’ that song may be well-known among audiences, but this is a case where Stabbing Westward actually improved on the original. The addition of the keyboards and electronics here gives the original song a much fuller presentation. Audiences will largely agree, too. All things considered, the covers featured in this recording make for plenty of reason for audiences to hear the EP. They collectively are not the last of the EP’s notable elements. The EP’s production rounds out its most important elements.
The production that was used in this surprise record is so important especially because this is a covers compilation. Those behind the glass had to make sure that the elements of the original compositions were well-balanced with the elements that have made Stabbing Westward’s work so familiar throughout the years without losing either along the way. The efforts that went into achieving that goal paid off, too. It brings out the best of both worlds, as audiences will hear for themselves, to the result that the overall product’s presentation is completely rounded out. When the production of Hallowed Hymns is considered along with the featured songs and arrangements, the whole of the EP becomes a welcome musical treat for any Stabbing Westward fan and any fan of the featured bands whose works are covered.
Stabbing Westward’s new EP Hallowed Hymns is a presentation that is certain to tide over audiences waiting for the band’s next full-length studio recording, which is expected for release in 2021. That is due in part to the songs that the band covered in the record. They are relatively well-known each in their own right. The band’s take on each song stays true to the source material while adding its own trademark touch to the works. The production that was used in melding the works brought out the best of both worlds. Each element noted is important in its own way to the whole of the EP. All things considered, they make the EP a pleasant musical Halloween treat for audiences.
More information on Hallowed Hymns is available along with all of Stabbing Westward’s latest news at:
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