Static X – Project Regeneration Vol. 1
Posthumous albums are a difficult proposition. Many times, they seem like a simple cash-grab for surviving band members and right-holders. Other times, it does seem like there was some quality music that for some reason never got out during an artist’s lifetime. Sometimes that music can also serve as a fitting epitaph, rather than just a collection of random demos and tidbits. The long-awaited and much-delayed ‘Project: Regeneration Vol. 1’ is actually one of the better posthumous albums in recent memory, and very much worth the wait for those who wants to hear Static-X again.
Static-X is clearly a band that has grown in renown since the death of vocalist and leader Wayne Static. During his lifetime, the band never seemed to escape its eternal status as an opening act for bigger bands. They were also often written off as just another nu-metal band, or a poor man’s Rammstein as an industrial band. But ever since Wayne Static tragically met his early demise in 2014 (due to a lethal combination of alcohol and prescription drugs), Static-X nostalgia keeps growing due to their undeniable fun-factor and the direct simplicity of their sound.
Static-X is one of the few bands that really nail their signature sound on their very first record, and this sound is replicated here in spades. ‘Project Regeneration Vol. 1’ is largely built around Wayne Static’s unused vocal tracks and demos for abandoned songs. These tracks have then been expanded upon by the classic Static-X line-up and Wayne Static stand-in “Xer0” (who is just Edsel Dope from the band Dope in disguise) into finished songs. The result is something that feels like a new Static-X record, full of their signature sound of crushing guitars and oppressive synthesizers. But the main course is undoubtably the fact that you can hear Wayne Static sing again, who is one of the most underrated metal vocalists of all time. His harsh yet clear barks and screams, with always audible lyrics, are here in their full glory and is a great showcase for how technically skilled he was as a singer. He was always in full command of his voice and is every bit as versatile as his peers, like Corey Taylor or Jonathan Davis who are much more lauded but not necessarily better.
Though the record can sound a bit sterile and lifeless at times since it’s more of a studio product than it is an actual “band” album, it still has moments which sounds very much like Static-X in their prime. The song ‘Terminator Oscillator’ is very similar to the single ‘Dirthouse’ from the ‘Start A War’ album, so its understandable why it was doomed to the cutting floor. But here, this abandoned song is resurrected into a prime cut, vastly superior to its soundalike. Other songs, like Project Regeneration’s lead single ‘Hollow’, sounds exactly like a brand-new Static-X single as if Wayne never left us at all.
If you want nostalgia, or if you just want a punchy industrial metal album to comfort you because Rammstein canceled their summer tour, ‘Project Regeneration Vol. 1’ is a really worthwhile listen and a fine addition to the catalogue of one of the most overlooked metal bands of the past 20 years.
Title: Project Regeneration Vol. 1
Date of release: 10/7-20