Perfect for angsty people of any era, Stabbing Westward‘s ‘Wither, Blister, Burn + Peel‘ makes the cut of today’s Blast From Past. Hailing out of Columbia Records, the band’s 1995 release was the second of the four LP’s released by the band. Stabbing Westward formed in 1984 in Illinois, and disbanded around 2002.

The first track, ‘I Don’t Believe‘ is an anger-fueled heavy track, laying down the framework of the heavy rock/industrial hybrid laden album. Heavy hitting snare drums, and thunderous bass become signature immediately in this track, and leave a trail throughout. ‘Shame‘ revels in the continuity, leading into the most-played single off the album, ‘What Do I Have To Do?‘. The latter track was the first experience I had with Stabbing Westward. The music video was played as heavily on MTV as it was on the radio. The cohesive sonic work marries well with the lyric content, which dives deep into internal conflicts and feelings.

The fourth track, ‘Why‘ takes us along Stabbing Westward’s ethereal plane and otherworldly realm, slowing down to ‘Inside You‘, which doesn’t hold the volume down for long following ‘Falls Apart‘ and ‘So Long‘. The work picks up again with overwhelming lyrics and a haunting, slow guitar reminiscent of a horror back track in ‘Crushing Me‘. ‘Sleep‘ is the albums 9th track, and concludes with ‘Slipping Away‘, which is the most hard-rock, if not borderline alternative sounding work. Either way, it ends just as it begins, angry and rocking with sounds and emotional lyrics the listener cannot help but empathize with.

Wither, Blister, Burn + Peel‘ is for sure a roller coaster of sorts, but a perfect one for those kinds of days.

Malinda Mansfield