Halloween may look different this year, but Stabbing Westward is intent on making it feel special by releasing a brand-new covers EP today as a special “treat” for fans.
Hallowed Hymns, released on COP International Records, features four tracks that were instrumental to the industrial band’s beginnings and conjure the feeling of the season. One of those is a cover of “(Every Day Is) Halloween” by Ministry!
The EP also includes original takes on “Burn” from The Cure (famously featured on the soundtrack to The Crow) and Echo And The Bunnymen’s eternal hit “The Killing Moon.” There is also a special “Devil’s Night Mix” version of Stabbing Westward’s “Burn” cover to round out the surprise release.
Stabbing Westward — featuring original founding members Christopher Hall (vocals/guitar) and Walter Flakus (keyboards/programming) as well as longtime bandmate Carlton Bost (bass) and newest member Bobby Amaro (drums) — originally released their cover of “Burn” to much fanfare for the Cold Waves Festival compilation album in September; the track was premiered by Revolver magazine that called it a “reverent cover” that kicked off the compilation “with a bang.”
Says frontman Christopher Hall about this special surprise release: “2020 has been a shit year. We were supposed to release our new album and tour the US to support it. But clearly that’s not happening. We know Halloween is different this year with no parties and no Trick or Treating so we wanted to give fans something special …. something that will help tie you over until we can release some new music.
“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. 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.
“We have been working on the album so hard for so long that it was really a joy to take a break and explore all these tracks had to offer. As often as you listen to your favorite songs it’s a totally different experience to take one apart and see how it was built. It gave me such an immense appreciation for what these amazing artists created—especially the Ministry track knowing how primitive the gear was that Al Jourgensen had to work with back then with none of the modern tools we take for granted today. He literally created new techniques in the studio that we still use today. He was light years ahead of his time. We hope you enjoy listening to these tracks as much as we have enjoyed recording them.”
Stream Stabbing Westward covering “(Every Day Is) Halloween” by Ministry on YouTube:
Stabbing Westward recently reunited for the first time in decades, releasing the Dead And Gone EP with new material in January 2020 and announcing a new record deal with indie label COP International to release the band’s upcoming fifth studio album Wasteland—their first new LP in 20 years—set for 2021.
The EP’s title coyly illustrates that Stabbing Westward is in fact neither dead nor gone, but rather ready to pick up where they left off after a string of mid-‘90s hits that dominated alternative radio and film soundtracks, including “Shame,” “Save Yourself,” “So Far Away” and “What Do I Have to Do?”, and resulted in two Gold records.
To recapture that early chemistry, the band has again recruited their original producer, the legendary John Fryer for the upcoming Wasteland release. It will be the first LP from the band since 2001. Fryer, whose production credits include Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, 4AD, Cocteau Twins and Love and Rockets, was behind the boards on Stabbing Westward’s seminal early albums Ungod (1994) and Wither Blister Burn + Peel (1996).