Stabbing Westward would begin as little more than Depeche Mode imitators but would come into their own as a bold voice in the electronic metal genre. The product of Christopher Hall and Walter Flakus, the group was organized in the late 80s in Chicago. By 1990 the duo was recording EPs, and their full-length debut album, Ungod, appeared in 1993. Some heavy promotion followed, after which the group's 1996 sophomore effort, Wither Blister Burn & Peel generated a modest radio hit in "What Do I Have to Do?" Two more albums would follow, culminating in the group's final effort, 2001's Stabbing Westward. Additional tracks were recorded thereafter but were never utilized under the Stabbing Westward banner, as Flakus and Hall decided at this point to disband and pursue solo careers.
Electronic metal has a tendency to get a little dark and disturbing. So what do you do if you like the sound but dislike all the Satan-worshipping and such? Turn on a Stabbing Westward album. Their music perfectly captures the essence of the electronic metal/alt rock genre but thematically isn't quite as scary as their peers. There's even quite a bit of variety in their music, as their albums are flavored with divergent tracks such as the confident and monolithic "The Only Thing," as well as the melodic and down-to-Earth "Happy." And though the group split up several years ago, their four albums leave behind an impressive legacy that will be difficult for their contemporaries to top.