"Darkest Days" is STABBING WESTWARD's, maybe even industrial music's, magnum opus. Even though I'm a serious prog fan and dislike the majority of metal bands out there (99% wouldn't be a bad estimative), I have to accept that this is a masterpiece of music.
Distorted drop-D guitars, haunting synths, tribal drumming, heavy bass and bleak lyrics make this concept album (divided in 4 acts) sound really interesting and strangely addicting: better than most stuff Trent Reznor of NINE INCH NAILS has released.
The eponymous song is a scary intro in 3/4; processed vocals and distorted guitar and synth riffs create a dark atmosphere, just before the rhythm session enters.
Andy Kubiszewski's drumming sounds just massive here. All tracks are heavy and feature incredible riffs, a trademark of SW's music. Christopher Hall's shouts are emotional and organic, featuring some processing in a couple of tracks; the quasi-death growl on When I'm Dead is amazing. Walter Flakus and Mark Eliopulos distorted playing are the cherry on this cake; even though there aren't any solos here, these guys show they can make some **tchin' music. Jim Seller's scooped StingRay has got a beautiful, driving tone - Torn Apart and On Your Way Down are landmarks for metal bass playing.
5-star songs: Darkest Days, How Can I Hold On, Drugstore, You Complete Me, Save Yourself, Torn Apart, Desperate Now, When I'm Dead, Waking Up Beside You;
4-star songs: Everything I Touch, Haunting Me, The Thing I Hate, On Your Way Down;
3-star songs: Sometimes it Hurts, Drowning, Goodbye.
A must-have for fans of rock and metal.