Stabbing Westward Announces New Album Details; Debuts Album’s Lead Single, Lyric Video

Courtesy: COP International Records

Stabbing Westward will open the new year with a new album.

The band is scheduled to release its new album, Chasing Ghosts March 18 through COP International Records. It will be the band’s first new music since the release of its EP, Hallowed Hymns last year. Additionally, it will be the band’s first album since the release of its 2001 album, Stabbing Westward.

According to information provided about the band’s new album, it will feature a blend of original songs and re-worked takes on songs featured in the “companion” to Hallowed Hymns in the form of the band’s 2020 EP, Dead and Gone. Pre-sales for the album’s standard edition release are scheduled to open in January. Audiences can sign up for reminders here. The band has a limited number of special-edition physical copies of its new album available to pre-order here.

In anticipation of the album’s release, the band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘I Am Nothing‘ and its companion lyric video Friday. The musical arrangement featured in the band’s new single is everything that audiences came to expect from the group during its heyday in the 1990s.

Simply put, its base is that familiar rich, heavy, industrial sound that helped bring the band to fame for so many years. The angry, beaten down theme of a broken relationship is just as familiar here as in the band’s existing catalog.

The full track listing for Chasing Ghosts is as follows:

  1. I Am Nothing
  2. Damaged Goods
  3. Cold
  4. Push
  5. Wasteland
  6. Ctrl Z
  7. Crawl
  8. Dead & Gone
  9. Ghost
  10. The End

More information on Chasing Ghosts is available along with all of Stabbing Westward’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.stabbingwestward.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/stabbingwestward

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/stabbingwestward

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Artifas Addresses Toxic Relationships In New Single, ‘Cut Me Out’

Courtesy: Imagen Records

Hard rock band Antifas debuted the lead single from its new album this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Cut Me Out‘ Friday. The song is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming album, Reflections, which is scheduled for release Nov. 19 through Imagen Records. The announcement of the single’s premiere and the album’s pending release comes approximately a month after the announcement was made that the band had signed a new deal with the label.

The musical arrangement featured in the song is a melodic hard rock style arrangement. The combination of the vocals and instrumentation lends itself to comparison to works from Stabbing Westward to a point.

According to comments made in a prepared statement from the band, the song’s lyrical theme centers on dealing with toxic relationships. That includes relationships with family, friends, and others.

“‘Cut Me Out’ is about cutting toxic people out of your life,” the statement reads. “Sometimes the most toxic people around you are the ones that are not so easily removed. At some point you have to stand up and say enough is enough, cut me out. The artwork for this record is all about reflection. Whether it’s someone in a dark place reflecting the poor decisions made, or whether someone is reflecting the beauty of the world on front of them.”

More information on Artifas’ new single, album and record deal is available along with all of the band’s latest information at:

Website: https://www.artifas.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artifas

Twitter: https://twitter.com/artifasofficial

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Rock Super Group Takes Top Honors In Phil’s Picks’ 2020 Best New EPs

Courtesy: Wiretap Records

Another year has come and another year is almost gone.  Only a handful of weeks remain in this year, which means many record companies have already turned their focus to 2021.  Even with the record labels turning their attention to the new year, there is still work to be done this year.  The work in question is a look back at the best of the year’s new music.  For this critic, that look back starts at the smallest level, EPs.  Those who have followed this critic’s daily ramblings year in and year out know that the year-enders have always started with the smallest records, the EPs, and this year is no different.  This year has seen a variety of interesting EPs released from across the musical universe.  They include records released by labels and independently by the acts in question. 

Featured in this critic’s list of this year’s are new offerings from Hell or Highwater (which is fronted by Atreyu’s Brandon Saller), Another Day Dawns, and even independent artist Vast Caldera among others.  Topping this year’s list is an offering from the “super group” In Parallel.

As with every year past, this critic’s list features not 10, but 15 titles.  The top 10 titles are the primary titles, while the next five are honorable mention titles.  With everything noted, here with out any further ado, is Phil’s Picks Top 10 New EPs of 2020.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW EPs

  1. In Parallel – Fashioner
  2. Mark Morton – Ether
  3. Killswitch Engage – Atonement II: B-Sides For Charity
  4. Vast Caldera – Vast Caldera I
  5. Another Day Dawns – Stranger
  6. Hell or Highwater – Lost at Sonic Ranch
  7. Stabbing Westward – Dead and Gone
  8. Lord—Chaos Raining
  9. KB & The Idyllwilde – I Just Wanna Love You, I Just Wanna Let You
  10. The Run Around – Bombs Away
  11. Morgan Rose – Controlled Chaos
  12. Zero Theorum – The Killing: Part I
  13. Hold On Hollywood – Love Stories
  14. South of Eden – Talk
  15. The Jacks – Remember You

Next up from Phil’s Picks is the list of the year’s top new independent albums.  This year has produced some impressive new independent albums.  Stay tuned for that.

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Stabbing Westward’s New EP Is A Welcome Surprise For The Band’s Fans

Courtesy: COP International

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:

Websitehttp://www.stabbingwestward.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/stabbingwestward

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/stabbingwestward

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Stabbing Westward Releases Surprise Halloween-Themed EP

Courtesy: FR-PR

Stabbing Westward is giving audiences its own special Halloween treat.

The band released a new covers collection Friday. The four-song EP, dubbed Hallowed Hymns, takes on covers of songs from The Cure (‘Burn’, from the soundtrack to the movie The Crow) Ministry ((‘Every Day Is) Halloween,’) Echo and the Bunnymen (The Killing Moon), and a remix (The Devil’s Mix) of one of ‘Burn.”

Front man Christopher Hall discussed the EP’s release and other items in a prepared statement.

“2020 has been a shit year,” the statement reads. “We were supposed to release our new album and tour the U.S. to support it. But clearly that’s not happening. We know Halloween is different this year with no parties and no Trick or Treating so we wanted to give fans something special …. something that will help tie you over until we can release some new music.”

“We picked these three tracks because, for us, they represent the feeling of Halloween and they were very important songs during our early musical stages,” the statement adds. “If there were ever two bands that I would say most influenced Walter and I to form Stabbing Westward it would be Ministry and The Cure. From the earliest days of Ministry’s With Sympathy through the evolution of Twitch, they were the band that opened our minds and hearts to industrial music. To be able to reimagine these songs as Stabbing Westward while still trying to pay homage to the brilliance of the original versions was a terrifyingly fun adventure.

“We have been working on the album so hard for so long that it was really a joy to take a break and explore all these tracks had to offer,” the statement continues noting. “As often as you listen to your favorite songs it’s a totally different experience to take one apart and see how it was built. It gave me such an immense appreciation for what these amazing artists created—especially the Ministry track knowing how primitive the gear was that Al Jourgensen had to work with back then with none of the modern tools we take for granted today. He literally created new techniques in the studio that we still use today. He was light years ahead of his time. We hope you enjoy listening to these tracks as much as we have enjoyed recording them.”

Stabbing Westward’s new EP comes nine months after the release of the band’s latest recording, its new EP ‘Dead and Gone.’ The band is hoping to release its new album Wasteland in 2021.

More information on Hallowed Hymns is available along with all of Stabbing Westward’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.stabbingwestward.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/stabbingwestward

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/stabbingwestward

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Sami Doll Debuts ‘AN OM IE’ Video

Independent industrial rock act Sammi Doll debuted the video for its latest video this week.

Sammi Doll premiered the video for her debut single ‘AN OM IE’ Wednesday. Directed by Ron Underwood, the decidedly goth-style video features Sammi Doll in a variety of settings, each one presenting her in her goth look, black hair, makeup and attire.

Sammi Doll discussed the song’s video treatment in a recent interview.

“The video began as a concept of vignettes with director Ron Thunderwood,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to create something beautifully artistic and visually unsettling. We filmed the video over the course of four months due to quarantine restrictions, so we had the luxury of time to build on the characters. I really give my blood, insomnia, and tears to everything I do artistically and tend to think about the consequences later… but I knew I was committed when a frozen octopus from Seattle showed up at my front door…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1R8qKZkfEo&feature=youtu.beCourtesy: TAG Publicity

The song’s musical arrangement features a stylistic approach that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Stabbing Westward, Gravity Kills, and Ministry. That is evidenced through the use the keyboards, electronic drums, and guitars.

The song’s lyrical theme is meant to be a social commentary, according to Sammi Doll.

“ANOMIE theory is the state of social disintegration,” she said. “We as a society, live within this theory; and we are our own worst enemy.”

‘AN OM IE’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on Sammi Doll’s new single and video is available along with all of her latest news at:

Website: http://sammidoll.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialSammiDoll

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SammiDoll

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Julien-K Debuts ‘Better Without You’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: The Label Group

Julien-K debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Better Without You’ Thursday through Ghost Cult Magazine.  The song is the third single from the band’s latest album Harmonic Disruptor (2020).  The album has also produced the singles ‘Shut Down Your Soul‘ and the album’s title track.

The song’s musical arrangement boasts a sound that is comparable to works created by Julien-K’s founders Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh during their days in Orgy, and just as much to works from Nine Inch Nails and Stabbing Westward.

Shuck discussed those similarities in a recent interview.

“Stronger Without You takes us back to our roots in Orgy “Candyass” era,” said Shuck. “We consciously wanted to revisit the spirit and tone we created when we started Orgy. The 90’s influence, the heavy detuned guitars w strong electro roots – truly OUR roots.”

The song’s lyrical theme, said Shuck, address someone whose negative thoughts and personality is doing them in.

“The lyrics use apocalyptic language to tell the story of a toxic person choking on their own negativity,” he said. “Truly Julien-K!”

Harmonic Disruptor is available to stream and download here.

More information on the album is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.julienk.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/julienk

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/JulienK

 

 

 

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Porn Debuts ‘In An Endless Dream’ Remix

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Goth-Industrial band Porn debuted another remix from its new album Mr. Strangler’s Last Words.

The band debuted the remix of its song ‘In An Endless Dream‘ Friday.  As with the band’s previous remix of ‘God’s Creatures,’ which the band debuted early this month, this song was not originally featured as one of the singles for the band’s album No Monsters in God’s Eyes.  That song was remixed by Mindless Self Indulgence front man Jimmy Urine.

The band’s latest remix was handled by Chris Vrenna (ex Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson).  Vrenna’s industrial music experience is on full display here through the percussive nature in the song’s electronic elements and the gentility in the keyboards.  The drums cut through just as strongly here, and are well-balanced with the vocals of Porn front man Phillippe Deschemin.

Deschemin had the following to say about Vrenna and his handling of the remix.

“Here is the remix by Chris Vrenna!,” he said.  “Well known as the Nine Inch Nails drummer from 89 to 99 and with Marilyn Manson from 2007 to 2011, Chris Vrenna is also an accomplished producer (with is own project Tweaker, 2 albums for Marilyn Manson…), composer and remixer (NIN, Rammstein, U2…) . Now Chris Vrenna is doing some PORN remixing the song In an endless dream!”

The debut of Vrenna’s remix of ‘An Endless Dream’ comes less than a month after Porn debuted the remix of God’s Creatures.  They are just two of the songs that the band has released so far from The Last Words of Mr. Strangler.  The band has also released remixes of ‘High Summer Sun,’ ‘Some Happy Moments‘ and ‘A Lovely Day.’

More information on this new remix, No Monsters in God’s Eyes and all of Porn’s latest news and more is available at:

 

 

 

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/PORNtheband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/PORNtheband

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Porn Debuts ‘God’s Creatures’ Remix

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Goth/industrial metal band Porn is bringing audiences some new music.

The band debuted the remix of its song ‘God’s Creatures‘ Friday.  The song, featured in the band’s latest album No Monsters in God’s Eyes, was not previously released as one of the album’s singles.

Now it has been remixed by Mindless Self Indulgence front man Jimmy Urine for Porn’s new remix album Mr. Strangler’s Last Words.  the record is a follow-up to No Monsters In God’s Eyes and features remixes from other goth and industrial acts, such as Combichrist, Stabbing Westward and Chris Vrenna (ex-Nine Inch Nails).

The original take of ‘God’s Creatures’ boasts an arrangement that lends itself to comparisons to works from fellow electronic rock band Orgy.  Jimmy Urine’s remix took that arrangement and enhanced it even more, giving the arrangement an even more ethereal sound.  the up-tempo keyboard line and steady 2/4 beat   The change even presents a hint of an EDM influence at one point, making this remix the most notable of the album’s remixes.

Most recently, Porn debuted the remix of its song ‘High Summer Sun,’ which was crafted by Orgy.  Prior to that song’s release, Porn debuted the remix of another of the singles from No Monsters in God’s Eyes in the form of Stabbing Westward’s remix of ‘Some Happy Moments.’  Combichrist’s remix of ‘A Lovely Day’ was the first of the remixes featured from No Monsters in God’s Eyes.

Porn front man Phillippe Deschemin talked about the remix in a recent interview.

“Here is the remix by Jimmy Urine from Mindless Self Indulgence,” he said. “Just after releasing an album with Serj Tankian ( singer of System of a Down), Jimmy Urine is doing some PORN remixing the song God’s Creatures. The result is a pure Industrial Rock song with the weird touch of Mindless Self Indulgence.”

More information on this new remix, No Monsters in God’s Eyes and all of Porn’s latest news and more is available at:

 

 

 

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/PORNtheband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/PORNtheband

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

‘Dead And Gone’ Proves Stabbing Westward Is Anything But Dead And Gone

Courtesy: Drugstore Records

Stabbing Westward has seen lots of ups and downs during the course of its life.  Having initially formed more than 35 years ago, the band released four albums and one EP before eventually breaking up in 2002.  Almost 15 years after that breakup, the band reunited in 2016, and has been keeping itself busy ever since then.  Just this past January, the band released its first new record in 19 years in the form of its new EP Dead and Gone.  The five-song record is a strong return for the band, and shows that even with as much time as has passed, the group can still hold its own alongside its counterparts in the electronic-industrial rock community.  It is a presentation whose musical arrangements pull from each of the band’s past records and whose lyrical content will connect with its own share of listeners.  Each item will be discussed shortly.  The record’s production and mixing rounds out its most important elements, and will be addressed later.  All things considered, the EP proves itself a strong return from one of the most well-known industrial-electronic rock acts of the 90s, and a presentation that gives audiences real reason to be optimistic about the band’s forthcoming album, which is scheduled for release later this year through COP International.

Stabbing Westward’s recently released EP Dead and Gone is a strong new offering from the band, having come along almost two decades after the release of the band’s then most recent album, it’s 2001 record Stabbing Westward.  That is due in part to the songs that make up the record’s body.  The EP features five songs, but technically only three of the five are original.  The other two are remixes of the record’s title track and of ‘Cold,’ the record’s second song.  The thing that gives this EP a pass unlike other EPs is that while the noted remixes are just that, they are still original works in their own right.  The ‘Dead and Gone’ (Stoneburner Remix) is proof of why the remixes deserve their own share of applause and attention.  The remix does stay true to its source material, but adds so much more to it in the process.  Case in point is the use of the extra electronics and the guitars that are added in to the composition.  The echo effect that is used on front man Christopher Hall’s vocals and the steady, driving bass drum beat that is incorporated adds an extra touch to the song.  The same can be said of the aforementioned guitars.  They give the song more of an edge that, together with the other added elements, actually makes the remix better than the original.  “Stabwalt’s 12” Dance Mix” of ‘Cold’ is deserving of its own praise.   This arrangement goes full EDM complete with extra keyboard accents while also staying as true as possible to its source material.  The arrangement builds on the very Orgy-esque sound featured in the original song and enhances it even more to make it just as enjoyable as the original, if not more so.

Speaking of that Orgy-influence exhibited in ‘Cold,’ it is fully evident in the original arrangement, complete with the Middle Eastern sound that opens the song.  What’s just as interesting about this arrangement  — the original arrangement – is that there are elements that make it comparable to works from old school Nine Inch Nails and to certain songs from Gary Numan.  Even with those comparisons, the song still boasts its own original identity in and of itself.  That ensures listeners will remain engaged and entertained throughout the course of the nearly four-and-a-half-minute opus.

‘Crawl,’ another of the songs featured in this EP, presents its own engaging and entertaining arrangement.  The use of the vocal effects, the guitars and keyboards will take listeners back to the band’s early days and  even as recent as the noted 2001 self-titled album.  In other words, it is a work that will appeal just as much to new audiences as it will to longtime listeners.

‘Dead and Gone,’ the EP’s opener wastes no time grabbing listeners’ attention, with its steady beat, its guitars and keyboards.  Right from the song’s outset, the arrangement lends itself to comparisons to Nine Inch Nails’ timeless hit ‘Head Like A Hole’ before easing up slightly in the lead verse.  That heaviness from the song’s opening returns in the song’s chorus, returning that comparison.  The back and forth of that heavy/soft/heavy/soft/heavy approach does its own part to keep listeners engaged and entertained here.  That is especially the case considering that despite the comparison, the song’s arrangement still boasts its own identity, too.  Considering the engagement and entertainment offered through the EP’s arrangements, the record clearly has plenty to offer audiences just in this aspect alone.  The EP’s lyrical content adds even more impact to its presentation.

All three of the original songs featured in Dead and Gone focus on one central topic – relationships.  The record’s title song would have been a good fit to the band’s self-titled record.  That’s because lyrically, by that point, Hall had gone from being more confident and straight forward, demanding love in his lyrics to being more pleading.  This song is very much in that vein.  He sings in the song’s lead verse, “I failed to realize I’d found everything in you/And like a fool/I took it all for granted/I was too self-absorbed to see the pain I put you through/And you don’t believe in second chances.”  He adds in the chorus, “How can I go on/When my last hope is gone/How can I go on/When my last hope is dead and gone.”  From there, Hall continues in the song’s second verse, “You were the hope that pulled me through my darkest nights/But every time you needed me, I failed you/no longer want to live the life you’ve left behind/If it means I must face it without you.”  The song’s third and final verse continues in very similar fashion, finding its subject once again very pleadingly saying essentially oh-woe-is-me.  Given, this is rather self-serving, but it will connect with listeners, as there are those out there who are and have been in a similar situation, so maybe this song will help those people get through those difficult moments.

‘Cold’ is another example of why the song’s relationship-based lyrical themes strengthen the EP’s presentation.  Instead of someone who has lost that someone, this time, the song’s subject is lamenting unrequited love.  Hall sings from the subject’s vantage point here, “Our first kiss set my soul on fire/Consumed me with a burning desire/inside you, I finally felt whole/When I whispered, ‘I love you’/You froze and said nothing at all.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “It’s a silent scream through my head/I realized that my passion was dead/Inside you, I felt so alone/Like a fool who has fallen in love with an angel of stone.”  He adds in the song’s final verse, “The fire that ravaged my soul/is dead now and the ashes are cold.”  The song’s chorus adds its own impact to the song, as it finds Hall singing, “How did you get so cold/I can see in your eyes/There’s nothing inside/How did you get so cold.”  Again, the song’s subject is relatively clear here.  Lots of people have been in the position of this song’s subject; that moment of making that all-important statement in a relationship, but perhaps not getting back the same emotion from one’s partner.  Hall does a good job of expressing the emotions and thoughts that fill those who have made that move and have the same result.  To that end, it is not a song for everyone, but will connect with its own share of listeners.  Keeping that in mind, the combination of the song’s lyrical and musical content does its own work keeping audiences engaged and entertained, even here.

‘Crawl,’ the third of the record’s original works, will find its own unique appeal to audiences, too.  This song makes no bones as to its subject matter.  The song’s subject openly says to his/her love interest in the song’s chorus, “I would beg/I would plead/I would crawl/On my hands and knees/To try to restore your faith in me.”  The subject even goes so far as to say in the chorus’ refrain, “I would crawl through Hell on my knees/Just to be with you.”  This is something of a romanticized sort of statement that certainly plenty of listeners will appreciate, especially taking into account the over-the-top pleas that are presented in the song’s verses.  It is, again, not something for everyone, but those who do like such schmaltzy poetry will appreciate this presentation.  It shows that the song’s subject has realized he/she has done wrong to his/her partner, and will do whatever it takes to make things right.  Of course, actions speak louder than words, and keeping that in mind, it will not appeal to everyone, again, but will connect with its target listeners.  It’s just one more way in which the record’s lyrical content proves itself just as important to the EP’s whole as the presentation’s musical arrangements.  All things considered here, the overall content featured in these five songs makes Dead and Gone a work that is deserving of at least an occasional listen.

While the content that makes up the body of Dead and Gone does its own share to make the EP engaging and entertaining for the band’s target audience, the record’s production and mixing put the final touch to its whole.  As noted already, each song has a lot going on, between the keyboards, electronics, drums, vocals, guitar and bass.  Luckily, even as much as is going on in each song, each part is balanced well with one another.  Hall’s singing, in its more subtle and even more powerful moments helps to accent the emotion exhibited in each lyrical presentation.  At the same time, he never overpowers his band mates, nor do they wash him out.  The drums, in ‘Cold’ couple well with the guitars and drums to show once again how much time and effort was put into the record to create its impact.  Much the same can be said of the production of the record’s other works.  The end result of all of the production and mixing is a record that deserves just as much credit for its aesthetics as for its content.  Keeping that in mind, the EP, proves itself a strong return for the band and a work that deserves its own spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new EPs.

Stabbing Westward’s recently released EP Dead and Gone, released early this year, came with little fanfare or coverage from mainstream media outlets.  Despite that, it still managed to succeed and show that Stabbing Westward still sounds as strong as it did back in the 90s.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements that will appeal widely to industrial and electronic rock fans.  The record’s lyrical content ensures its own appeal among audiences.  The production and mixing puts the final touch to the record’s whole.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the EP.  All things considered, they make Dead and Gone proof that Stabbing Westward is not yet dead and gone.  More information on Dead and Gone is available along with all of Stabbing Westward’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.stabbingwestward.com

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