February 10th, 2015
For so many of us growing up in the 1990’s it was Christopher Hall’s voice and Stabbing Westward’s music that created the soundtrack for our lives. After over a decade of touring, 4 albums, 9 singles and 6 top 25 hits, including 3 in the top 5, Stabbing Westward parted ways in 2002. Hall wasted no time recruiting former Stabbing Westward drummer Johnny Haro and formed The Dreaming.
When I interviewed Hall back in 2011 before The Dreaming’s release of Puppet, I asked him about reforming as The Dreaming instead of continuing as Stabbing Westward. Hall said he didn’t have a problem starting over from scratch and that The Dreaming would give him the chance to continue making music but move in a direction that differed from his original band. The Dreaming’s music, while similiar to Stabbing Westward’s, was a whole new animal. It was a more gritty, rock sound that lacked the industrial metal vibe of the previous.
It’s always good to return to your roots though, and Hall, after mending the bridges with Stabbing Westward founder Walter Flakus, has done just that. With the 2015 release of The Dreaming’s Rise Again, Flakus and Hall have shown us that somethings we thought were dead are meant to rise again. The Dreaming’s new album Rise Again, which drops February 10th, 2015, is a special release for The Dreaming, based on the reunion of Christopher Hall and Walter Flakus, best known as the founding members of Stabbing Westward. Members of Orgy, Deadsy and Static-X round of the band.
With the addition of Flakus, Hall has taken the sound of The Dreaming and allowed it to evolve in a new yet familiar way. Rise Again’s lyrical content is just as visceral as Hall’s previous releases, but there’s a much darker sense of urgency behind his voice. While Hall admits that he doesn’t write concept albums but write individual tracks, Rise Again has a definate theme behind it and tells a story that few artists are willing or able to tell; One of real emotions that so many people hide away and let fester. The industrial vibe of Stabbing Westward is merged with The Dreaming’s brutal alt-metal sound and creates an aural landscape of pain, despair, loss, guidance and acceptance. Hall seems to be drawing on decades of interaction with the fans of both Stabbing Westard and The Dreaming for the inspiration behind Rise Again’s tracks.
The reason I initially gave The Dreaming a chance was becase I’m a fan of Stabbing Westward. Rise Again is akin to Stabbing Westward’s Darkest Days, but the sound is more evolved with a much more crisp, cleaner sound. It’s only ten tracks, but as I’m listening to it at work, it really draws you in and envelopes you. The album goes by so fast though. I’m glad Hall finally made amends with Flakus. Rise Again takes The Dreaming to the next level.