Our Patreon patrons often surprise us. Our poll for April of 1998 included revered and critically acclaimed albums, but instead the votes went a surprising way. Stabbing Westward's third album Darkest Days, could (and was) written off in some circles as a Nine Inch Nails wannabe. In revisiting this, and other records there were not critical darlings in the 1990s, it is easy to see why. Following up a hit single (one-hit wonder?) on their previous record, the odds were against them pulling out another, especially while wrapping it all in a sixteen track, sixty-four minute concept album, in a genre (industrial rock) as pinned to the 1990s as grunge. But a funny thing happened, while lesser bands were layering oodles of synths and metallic guitars on top of mechanical drum beats, Stabbing Westward remember to write the hooks and keep it grounded in the more rock end of industrial rock. Sure, it's loud and abrasive one minute and whisper quiet serious the next, but with production master Dave Jerden assisting behind the board, the band manages to make it all in work despite the odds.