Back in the nineties, I stumbled on Nine Inch Nails and my love of industrial rock began. They (well, Trent Reznor) dropped out for a while after “The Downward Spiral” and left a void in the genre.
Stabbing Westward filled that void for me.
They hit the scene with the rocking “What do I Have to Do?”
I spent a good hour in the record store (we had those back in 1995) listening to various songs until the guy working there helped me find Stabbing Westward’s album. Turned out, “Whither, Blister, Burn and Peel” was their second album. I snatched up “Ungod” as well.
These two albums were followed by “Darkest Days,” a concept album not unlike Reznor’s “Spiral.” A self-titled album followed, but besides two tracks it kinda sucked. I later found out it was because of a rogue producer screwing things up. Either way, Stabbing Westward slipped into the darkness and disappeared.
That is, until 2002 when SW lead singer Christopher Hall and former SW drummer Johnny Haro hit the studio to create a new project. With the help of “Darkest Days” engineer Bryan Carlstrom, the Dreaming was formed. Their first album, “Etched in Blood,” has that Stabbing Westward sound, but you could tell it was a new thing.
In 2014, Walter Flakus, co-founder of Stabbing Westward back in his and Hall’s college days, rejoined Hall and Haro, completing the circle. The Dreaming has officially hailed the return of the SW sound with their latest album, “Rise Again.” (see what they did there?) And it’s a damned good album.
For a taste of the Dreaming’s sound, check out this video from “Rise Again,” “Alone.”