Stabbing Westward

Ungod

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One of the more mainstream and melodic of Trent Reznor-inspired, industrial/alternative rock bands, Stabbing Westward released their major-label debut with Ungod. Christopher Hall rages hard, singing over the grinding guitars of Stuart Zechman, the thunderous rhythm section (bassist Jim Sellers and drummer David Suycott), and the drenching keyboards of Walter Flakus. The songs don't distinguish themselves from each other much, but the tribal drumming and wailing guitars drive some catchy melodies and create a mood. "Control" is given a shot of adrenaline by the throbbing bassline and the midsection of "Nothing" has an attention-getting, jackhammer riff. And at moments, like "Lies," the band almost comes across as a less playful White Zombie. The lyrics range from bleak ("Lost") to bleaker ("Nothing") to bleaker still ("Lies"), but the beat of the music is infectious and kinetic. As to whether the grimness that permeates Ungod is cathartic or wallowing is subject to individual tastes.

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