American industrial rock band Stabbing Westward surprised their fans with a Halloween treat in the form of a covers EP titled Halloween Hymns. The unforeseen release involves three new cover tracks inspired by the band’s industrial roots. Included is their version of The Cure’s “Burn” that they debuted for the Cold Waves Virtual Festival as well as covers of “(Every Day Is) Halloween” by Ministry and “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen. It is also packaged with a remixed version of “Burn” dubbed the “Special Night Mix.”
Every song has been deconstructed by Stabbing Westward, and is noticeably driven by industrial and metal sensibilities. There is a real effort here to renegotiate what the original feeling the songs provided, in some ways amplifying its significance. Just the addition of the synthesizer backing on a few of these songs changes the emotional resonance.
Stabbing Westward’s founding members Christopher Hall and Walter Flakus reunited back in 2016 following a 14 hiatus. They are today joined by longtime bandmate Carlton Bost on bass and newly minted member Bobby Amaro on drums.
Speaking on the choice of covers found on the Halloween Hymns, Hall said, “We picked these three tracks because, for us, they represent the feeling of Halloween and they were very important songs during our early musical stages. If there were ever two bands that I would say most influenced Walter and I to form Stabbing Westward it would be Ministry and The Cure.” He continued, “From the earliest days of Ministry’s With Sympathy through the evolution of Twitch, they were the band that opened our minds and hearts to industrial music. To be able to reimagine these songs as Stabbing Westward while still trying to pay homage to the brilliance of the original versions was a terrifyingly fun adventure.”
Stabbing Westward shares this music as a tide over for fans who are still awaiting their first new full-length album in 20 years, Wasteland. To recapture the formula that produced radio-friendly 90’s jams such as “Shame” and “What Do I Have to Do?” legendary producer John Fryer has been recruited again for the upcoming album to craft a new classic.