Mmmm… this is an album that has helped pull me out of some of the most profoundly crushing depressions of my entire life. Not because of its generally positive lyrical content (pphh), but because it provided a soundtrack to many long, lonely nights spent staring up at the various ceilings under which I’ve lived. Nights spent untying mental knots that initially seemed overwhelmingly complex, much like when you dig out your Xmas lights and they’re in a giant ball. I’m thankful for music like this because it reminds me of my capability to make something beautiful out of something unfathomably ugly. The fact that the musicians and the vocalist sat down and recorded this gives me strength, because as anyone who’s gone through intense depression most likely knows, one of the prime emotions that accompanies said depression is a feeling of utter futility. Obviously, a feeling like that does nothing to inspire or motivate anyone, especially towards the sometimes grueling work required to compose, record and mix music. The fact that this album exists is proof that it’s possible to fight back and win.
Anyway, yeah, I love pretty much all the tracks on this album, but the darkest tracks of all (in my humble opinion) are Drowning and Goodbye. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who’s in a good mood, as this album would most likely ruin it, but I would highly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for some music to get them through a painful time in their lives. I think it’s a fantastic album and I hope it reaches someone out there who might need it.
Darkest Days is the third album released on Columbia Records by industrial rock band Stabbing Westward. The album was recorded in L.A. in 1997 and released in April 1998. Although the album failed to achieve the same level of success as Wither Blister Burn & Peel, the album received positive reviews and is often considered the band’s best album. The band was dropped from Columbia Records following this release. The track “Save Yourself” reached number 4 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart (their highest-placing single on that chart) and number 20 on the U.S. Modern Rock chart and remains an alternative rock staple.
Darkest Days is a concept album made up of 4 acts, each portraying a different emotional phase gone through after a break-up. The first act (Tracks 1-4) is about sabotaging the relationship. The second act (Tracks 5-9) is about lust, hope, and longing. The third act (Tracks 10-12) is about hitting rock bottom after it’s all over. The fourth act (13-16) is about recovery and self-respect.
- “Darkest Days” – 3:51
- “Everything I Touch” – 3:22
- “How Can I Hold On” – 4:28
- “Drugstore” – 4:57
- “You Complete Me” – 4:05
- “Save Yourself” – 4:13
- “Haunting Me” – 3:35
- “Torn Apart” – 3:24
- “Sometimes It Hurts” – 3:39
- “Drowning” – 3:28
- “Desperate Now” – 5:24
- “Goodbye” – 1:56
- “When I’m Dead” – 3:04
- “The Thing I Hate” – 3:36
- “On Your Way Down” – 4:39
- “Waking Up Beside You” – 6:34
- “Hopeless” – 4:03 (Japan Bonus Track)
All tracks are written by Stabbing Westward.
In pop culture
- “Save Yourself” was featured in the trailer to The Mod Squad and The Covenant along with an appearance on the soundtrack to Tekken: The Motion Picture and in the video game Shaun White Snowboarding.
- “The Thing I Hate” was featured on the PSX video game Duke Nukem: Time to Kill.
- On the HBO series True Blood, “Save Yourself” played during the end credits to the season 5 finale of the same name.
- Noah Antwiler of The Spoony Experiment used “The Thing I Hate” as his outro piece for the final segment of his Ultima IX: Ascension review.
- Stabbing Westward
- Dave Jerden – Producer
- Ulrich Wild – Producer, engineer
- Bryan Carlstrom – Engineer
- Annette Cisneros – Assistant engineer
- Steve Mixdorf – Assistant engineer
- Steve Durkee – Assistant engineer
- Milton Chan – Assistant engineer
- Tom Baker – Mastering
- Dave McKean – Cover design and illustrations
- Dean Karr – Band photography