“The road to hell is paved with blood.”
Like many fans, Wayne Static’s tragic passing in 2014 hit me like a ton of bricks. I saw the band rise from the underground to spread their “Evil Disco” sound around the globe, touring with their heroes and influences, and even surpassing a few of the,. Wayne had much more music to give the world but little did we know. As it turns out, a lot more than we expected. Upon repeat listens to the new Static-X album listening to Project Regeneration Vol.1 (Ostego Entertainment Group), the band sounds fresh and raging as ever, and Wayne’s voice is not sad, but a triumphant middle finger from the great ether.
Sure, there have been detractors. We like in an age of lost heroes gone too soon like Dio, Layne, Dimebag, Chris, Chester, and Peter. Wayne was a talent worthy of those greats and surely is his missed by his fans as much. But fans also cling to the past and aren’t always willing to accept an unknown. Those fans likely didn’t attend the last year of sold-out shows celebrating 20 years of Wisconsin Death Trip, the incredible return of the core band of Koichi Fukuda, Tony Campos, and Ken Jay, augmented with masked singer Xero, and the care they took with Wayne’s memory and music. Their fans came out in droves and left sweaty and happy. The band made sure of this with multiple-hour signing sessions after shows. They answered every question and hugged many more! There is no better endorsement of this band continuing than that.
Now for the long in the works Project Regeneration Vol.1 album, it is as much about the past, as it is the future. These tracks bristle with life, head-nodding beats, haunting screams, and razorwire riffs upon riffs. Hearing Wayne’s voice again on these new songs is nothing short of amazing. His entire range of talent is represented here, and his voice is front and center in those tracks. The tracks feature the “Project Regeneration” moniker and hold the promise of tomorrow. These are vibrant industrial metal songs that slam as hard and as good as anything out there in the genre right now. Step back kiddies and see how the masters do it!
The album is dotted with all kinds of callbacks to the lore of the band. Familiar patterns, hooky chorus parts, danceable beats, and incredible samples that stay with you long after the album stops. There is a lot of ear candy type material on the tracks that just hooks you in and keeps your interest on repeat listens. Between the mix, the punchy bass lines, machine-gun riffs, and tight, in the pocket production; this might be the best sounding of all the Static-X albums. Of course, it helped to have Ulrich Wild behind the helm once again.
There are no weak tracks at all, but my personal favorites were ‘Hollow’, ‘Worth Dying For’, ‘Terminator Oscillator’, ‘Accelerate’, ‘My Destruction’, and ‘Ostego Placebo’! For something a little different, the album ends with ‘Dead Souls’ (sadly, not a Joy Division cover), which is a moody and gothy slower track that also surprised me.
As with everything the band has been doing since reforming, the band has taken the mission of this album with all love, but also the right amount of old and new vibes. The Vol 1. in the title intimates that there is enough material for another one of these. Hopefully, when touring resumes the band can continue to bring Wayne’s music to the masses and we can hear some fo these newly reanimated jams live.
“You’re going to hell.”
8 / 10