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With the sudden passing in 2014 of lead vocalist and founding member of the Techno/Industrial Metal band Static-X, Wayne Static, it was widely assumed this pioneering powerhouse would fade away forever. 

"The unexpected thing tragedy gives us is the opportunity to rebuild."

These are the first words you hear on the new Static-X album, Project Regeneration Vol. 1. Fitting both then and now.  Since in today's world, it seems we are rebuilding our sanity and fighting for that sense of normalcy daily, The phrase also rings true in the context of Static-X and it's sudden end.  It's time to rebuild.

This album drops on the heels of a massive world tour last year (cut short by the pandemic like so many others) celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Wisconsin Death Trip. The tour also introduced fans to the mysterious masked figure Xer0 filling in for the late Wayne on vocals. The shows were electrifying, widely acclaimed, and ultimately revitalized interest in the band from a wider audience—the perfect momentum builder to set the stage for this fascinating release.

Project Regeneration Vol. 1 boasts the return of the original Static-X lineup; Tony Campos (bass), Koichi Fukuda (guitarist, programmer, and keyboardist), and Ken Jay (drums).   They have joined forces with new frontman/producer Xer0 and put together their first recordings since 2009.  The album features bits and pieces of the last recordings and unused vocal tracks of deceased frontman Wayne Static.  They did an outstanding job here.  The essence of Static-X is very indeed prominent on this album with the sound they became famous for on full display here! 

The first track "Regeneration" is an intro of sorts, paying direct homage to Wisconsin Death Trip's "I'm With Stupid" with some of their classic sampling, seemingly to get us primed for what's to follow. "Hollow" hits with our first taste of this oh-so familiar sound and pays perfect homage to what was. Wayne's vocals are displayed here in classic Static fashion, and you are instantly transported into the past… or the future, for that matter!  What they did here is nothing short of amazing.

Next up is "Worth Dyin' For", which brutally executes that classic Static sound with Wayne's vocals interlaced with new frontman Xer0's.  Seamlessly stitched together in the same precision as Xer0's stage mask, the album steamrolls from here. The sound they became famous for is back in all its glory as the album progresses, and "Terminator Oscillator" is a perfect example of this.  The intensity, the energy, the power of the band on display once more. This song is one massive upbeat behemoth of a tune, exclusively sung by Xer0, and feels like a peek into the future of what's in store from this band.  Realistically, both singers are at the top of their game here, rounding out the delivery of a top-notch record.  If this is what Static-X means by rebuilding and regenerating, I'm on board.

If there is one takeaway from this record, it's Static-X certainly have not mellowed with age.  The brief nu-metal/industrial scene in general came and went in a heartbeat, but did yield some classic stuff (i.e., '90s Korn and Rob Zombie).  Static-X was a massive part of this genre, and with this reawakening of their unique sound, they ensure they are won't soon be forgotten.  They certainly have not strayed from their roots here. Older fans of Static-X will love this record, and newer fans who hear this for the first time will wonder how they managed this long without Static-X in their life.  Every track is hard-hitting, gritty, industrial metal at its finest.  It is music you can both dance to and head-bang to at the same time.  I've listened to this record over and over the past week and cannot put it down.  Give this album a try. It will not disappoint. 

"The unexpected thing tragedy gives us is the opportunity to rebuild."

It's Static-X.

It's Evil Disco.

It's Rebuilt.


All Photos:  Greg Vitalich Photography


John McAteer

Photojournalist - Orange County

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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