Static-X Opens 2020’s Second Half With One More Of The Year’s Top New Hard Rock & Metal Albums

Courtesy: Otsego Entertainment Group, LLC/TAG Publicity

More than 11 years have passed since industrial metal band Static-X released its last album, Cult of Static.  Fans’ wait for new material from the band will come to its end Friday with the release of Static-X’s new album Project Regeneration Volume 1.  The 12-song record takes previously unused vocals from the band’s late front man Wayne Static and crosses them with new musical arrangements from the band’s original lineup of Tony Campos (bass), Ken Jay (drums) and Koichi Fukuda (guitar) to make the final product.

That mix of new musical arrangements and unused lyrical content combines for a record that is sure to appeal to longtime fans and those less familiar with the band’s catalog alike.  Each item will be discussed here.  Also of note is the sequencing of those arrangements and lyrical themes.  This will also be discussed as part of this examination of Project Regeneration Volume 1.  When it is considered along with the album’s overall content, the whole of the record becomes a presentation that is without argument, a work that kicks off the second half of 2020 on a high note for the hard rock and metal community.

With the countdown to the end of 2020 officially on, it did not take long for the year’s first great heard rock and metal album to see the light of day.  That album comes from veteran industrial metal band Static-X.  The album – Project Regeneration Volume 1 — is a strong new offering from the original Static-X lineup of Tony Campos, Ken Jay, and Koichi Fukuda.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question do show some links back to Static-X’s early days, but also shows a certain amount of creative growth from the band in whole.  The most prominent point at which the album reaches back to its early days comes early in the album’s 39-minute run time in the form of its lead single ‘Hollow.’  That song’s overall stylistic approach, with its steady bass drum beat, guitars and percussive vocal delivery style from enigmatic front man “Xero” immediately lends itself to comparison to Static-X’s breakout hit single ‘Push It,’ featured in the band’s 1999 debut album Wisconsin Death Trip.  ‘Terminator Oscillator,’ which comes shortly after ‘Hollow,’ but still early in the album’s sequence, is an example of the latter statement.  It shows that noted growth from the band, as it relies more on keyboards and electronics than much of what the band has offered audiences in its past albums.  It and a number of other songs featured in the album, rely more on keyboards and electronics than works from the band’s past albums.  The noted songs lend themselves to comparisons to works from other industrial and electronic acts, such as Frontline Assembly, Ministry, and Juno Reactor.  That is just as evident late in the album’s run in ‘Otsego Placebo’ and in ‘My Destruction’ as anywhere else in the album.  The sampling is there right alongside the keyboards and the band’s more familiar metal guitar riffs.  Now given, the band did go through multiple lineup changes over its initial run, so naturally stylistic changes were to be expected.  This record on the other hand takes much of the stylistic approach used in Wisconsin Death Trip and builds on said approach.  Musically speaking, that approach makes Project Regeneration Volume 1 Static-X’s best album to date.  Of course the album’s musical content is just one part of what makes it so engaging.  The record’s lyrical themes add their own share of interest to its presentation, too.

The lyrical themes presented throughout Project Regeneration Volume I are important to discuss because of the amount of ground that they cover.  From the personal to the peculiar (in a good way), audiences are offered quite a bit that will keep them engaged throughout.  One of the most notable of the album’s more personal lyrical themes comes late in the album’s run in ‘Bring You Down.’  The song comes across as being rather introspective as Wayne Static addresses a relationship that had apparently gone bad.  What situation is being addressed through the song’s lyrics is anyone’s guess.  That is especially considering how long Static’s vocals had been sitting unused.  That aside, it is a deeply personal work that will engage listeners.  Static sings in the song’s lead verse, “You were the one to be true/To be down/I was/Out of the black/You brought me/Into the light now/Now take your little pills/Headlong to overkill/Resent me/’Cause I represent what you hate/Don’t wait.”   He continues in the song’s second verse, “Bring me up until you bring me down/Take me to hell/Bring me back/I can’t tell/In the black and bring it back/I don’t wanna wait/So I’m gonna say this right now/I feel my mind is going/My discontent showing/And now I know, I know/I’ve got to bring you down.”  Obviously that last line, “I know/I’ve got to bring you down” is not Static saying he has to bring someone down, but rather, he is speaking sarcastically in a manner of speaking.  Everyone who knows about Static-X’s history can’t help but wonder if this had any relation to the band’s breakup or to something else.  Again, regardless, this content is certain to engage listeners and generate its own share of discussion among listeners.  It is just one example of what makes the lyrical content featured in Project Regeneration Volume 1 noteworthy.

‘Terminator Oscillator’ is another example of the key examples of the importance of this album’s lyrical content.  This song’s lyrics were penned by current front man Xero instead of Wayne Static.  While the song’s musical arrangement would be a good fit on Fear Factory’s 1997 remix album Remanufacture, the song’s lyrics are unique and quite intense.  The song’s lead verse states, “I am the senseless/The vicious/The wicked/Annihilate/Calculate/Devastate/Terminate/Obliterate/Incinerate/I am the vicious/Exterminate/Violate/Devastate/Decapitate/Assassinate/Exhilarate/I am the wicked.”  Its second verse, reads, “Suffocate/Desecrate/Devastate/Terminate/Obliterate/Disintegrate/I am the vicious/Exterminate/Violate/Devastate/Decapitate/Assassinate/Accelerate/I am the wicked.”  The song adds in its finale, “I want it/I need it/I’m gonna hunt you down/I am the senseless/The vicious/The wicked.”  Knowing that an oscillator is something that swings back and forth in a set pattern, and that a terminator is something that ends the operation of something, maybe this has something to do in the bigger picture, then, with maybe someone who apparently who has two distinct mindsets that are one.  Of course that likely is not precisely on point.  Being that this is such metaphorical (and intense) lyrical content, it is just as certain to generate its own share of interest among audiences, showing even more why the album’s lyrical content is so important to the whole of its presentation.  It is just one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important.  ‘Something of my Own’ is one more example of what make the album’s lyrical content so important.

‘Something of My Own’ comes across as another personal commentary from Wayne Static, and is sure to keep listeners just as engaged as any of the album’s other songs.  Static, through his archived performance, sings in the song’s lead verse, “All my life a new beginning/All my life not understanding/All my life it’s you and me/And all my life we disagree/See through the dark/See through the light/See through the black and see through the white/And all night long/See through these shadows/All night long/You’re all that matters.”  He continues in the song’s chorus, “Leave me to burn/Out in the cold/Leave me to learn/Things on my own/I’ve been searching/Searching my soul/Looking for something of my own.”  He closes out the song in its second verse, singing, “Three years ago/I didn’t know her/Now she’s gone/I sit and wonder/What went wrong and couldn’t tell/And now I sit here/In my hell.”  It would seem that this has something to do with another relationship matter.  What’s interesting here is the power in the song’s musical arrangement.  The lyrics alone seem rather brooding, but the song’s musical arrangement makes the emotion anything but brooding.  Rather, it comes across as someone who is angry at one’s self for allowing a situation to reach the point at which it did.  It’s another interesting matter that will connect with a wide range of listeners even with its seemingly personal nature.  When it is considered along with the other noted lyrical themes and the rest of the album’s lyrical themes, audiences learn even more why the album’s lyrical content is just as important to its presentation as its musical content.  Music and lyrics taken into consideration together, they make for plenty of reason for audiences to take in this record.  They are just a portion of what makes the album worth hearing.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Project Regeneration Volume 1’s sequencing is important to note because of the aesthetic impact that it has on the album’s presentation.  From start to end of this record, the sequencing ensures that its energy remains at its highest point, barely letting up at any point.  The arrangements’ styles change slightly from one to the next, but even as they change, the album’s energy does not let up.  This means audiences will remain just as entertained and engaged through the stability in the album’s energies as through its arrangements and lyrical content.  To that end, the album wins for its aesthetics as much as for its overall content.  All things considered, the album in whole proves itself a strong return for Static-X and gives plenty of hope for Project Regeneration Volume 2, which is scheduled for release later this year.  Its release date will be announced soon.

Static-X’s new album Project Regeneration Volume 1, is the first great hard rock/metal album from the second half of 2020.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements, which echo some of the hints of the band’s past works but also show a certain amount of evolution from the band members, ¾ of which are the band’s original members.  The album’s lyrical content generates its own engagement and entertainment through its personal and otherwise themes.  Those themes will generate plenty of discussion among listeners as a result of that engagement and entertainment.  The album’s sequencing rounds out the most important of its elements.  It ensures that while the arrangements’ stylistic approaches change slightly from one to the next, the album’s energy never lets up too much.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Project Regeneration Volume 1 not only the first great hard rock/metal album of 2020’s second half, but one of the year’s top new hard rock/metal albums overall.

More information on Static-X’s new album, tour dates and more is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.static-x.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/staticx

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OfficialStaticX

 

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Industrial Metal Purists Will Appreciate Pig’s New EP

Courtesy: Metropolis Records

Late last month, Raymond Watts, the mastermind behind pioneering industrial act <Pig> returned with his latest opus in the form of the 6-song EP Prey & Obey.  The record came roughly a month after the release of Pig’s latest re-mix record Swine & Punishment.  Needless to say going such a short time between records is a big gamble since it doesn’t give audiences much time to digest one record before the next.  That aside, Watts’ latest effort under the <Pig> proves over the course of its six songs to be a work that any industrial metal purist will appreciate.  That is due in part to the record’s songs (including their arrangements), which will be discussed shortly.  The songs’ lyrical content plays another pivotal part in the record’s presentation, too.  It will be discussed later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  When it is joined with the previously noted elements, the whole of those items makes Prey & Obey a record that any industrial metal fan will be glad to own.

Raymond Watts’ latest <Pig> offering Prey & Obey is a record that any industrial metal purist will be glad to own.  Released June 16 via Metropolis Records, the 6-song EP’s foundation is formed through those songs in question.  Technically speaking, only three of those songs – its first three – are original.  The last three songs are re-mixes of the record’s title track and its follow-up, ‘Revelation.’  While the second half of the record is composed of re-worked versions of the originals, those re-mixes could easily be argued to be original in their own right, showing the importance of the songs’ arrangements.

The arrangements presented in each of Prey & Obey’s six tracks are critical to the record’s presentation because not one of the arrangements directly mirrors the others.  That is clearly evident, for instance, when comparing the title track’s original arrangement to those of its re-mixes.  The song’s original arrangement (or rather the final arrangement presented here vs. the demos), bears an easy comparison to works from Rammstein, which is one of so many bands worldwide that has gained its popularity by aping ’s sound.  At the same time, the song’s Leether Strip re-mix comes across more as something one might expect to hear from Juno Reactor (yet another act that rose to fame using ’s sound as an influence) with its EDM-centered arrangement.  Going even deeper, the song’s En Esh re-mix stands out just as much, establishing its own identity separate from the original mix and the Leether Strip re-mix.  That is because the arrangement presented here conjures thoughts (at least in this critic’s mind) of works that made Marilyn Manson a household name in the late 90s and early 2000s.  Simply put, the arrangement presented in this re-mix is completely different from that of the arrangement in the Leether Strip re-mix and that of the song’s original mix.  Keeping that in mind, it should be clear why the arrangements presented in this EP are so important to the record’s presentation.

As an additional explanation, the arrangements presented in ‘The Revelation’s’ original mix and its Z.Marr Electronic Mix are completely separate from one another.  Yet at the same time, one can easily make a comparison to works from Ministry in each arrangement.  This is even as the arrangements sound completely apart from one another.  One could even take the second arrangement and compare it to works from KMFDM, with whom Watts’ also worked early in his career, so it is only natural to hear that comparison.

If this is not enough of a comparison, one could easily compare the arrangement presented in ‘The Cult of Chaos’ to works presented in Nine Inch Nails’ landmark 1994 album The Downward Spiral, again showing the influence that Watts has had on the industrial realm throughout his career.  Keeping all of this in mind, it should be crystal clear why the songs presented in Prey & Obey are so critical to its overall presentation.  While only three of the record’s six songs may be technically originals, the re-mixes deserve their own attention, as they completely re-imagine their counterparts.  Even ‘the Cult of Chaos,’ the one song that did not receive a re-mix here, boasts its own original sound separate from those presented in each of the record’s other songs.  Keeping this in mind, the importance of the songs in this record and their arrangements is undeniable.  The songs and their arrangements are, collectively, not the record’s only important element.  The songs’ lyrical content is just as important to note as the songs and their arrangements.

The lyrical content presented in Prey & Obey is so critical to the record’s presentation because it comes across as being rather blatant.  The album’s very title track is solid proof of that with its clear commentary on organized religion.  Watts starts the song with a chorus yelling “Prey/Obey” as would a church’s congregation, before writing, “Look at the size of that monkey/Up on your back/Like a Jesus jerkin junky/I am the fly s*** will attract…wars/w****s/Apocalypse/Scores to settle/Fights to face.”  He continues on in the song’s second verse in similar fashion, expressing what come across as his own thoughts on the institution.

‘The Revelation’ is just as powerful as the record’s title track in its lyrical content with Watts writing, “We’ve got a social suicide/It’s comin’ tonight/With the germ of genocide…I had a vision of an afterlife/But I’ve seen it before/With the gift from the magic man/before he took it all/Now rise up for the revelation/Rise.”  He goes on to write in the song’s second verse, “A new apocalypse, a revelation/Bet youre doing it right…Jumpin’ Jesus is ***********.”  One need not go on from here.  It is clear that Watts has some very interesting commentary to share needless to say.  Of course, what he writes should be taken with a grain of salt, much like the songs crafted by Marilyn Manson for his 1996 album Antichrist Superstar.  Lyrically speaking, this shock rock record comes across in very similar fashion.  Keeping that in mind, the record’s lyrical content is certain to cause some stir, needless to say.  That attention that it is certain to bring plenty of discussion.  That certain discussion proves why the record’s lyrical content is so critical to the record’s whole.  It should be noted here that this critic does not endorse this record’s lyrical content by any means.  Its musical arrangements yes, but its lyrical content no.  Keeping that in mind, it would be wise to move on to the last of the record’s most important elements, its sequencing.

The sequencing of the songs featured in Prey & Obey is critical to the record’s whole because it keeps the record’s energy flowing from start to finish.  From the guitar-driven opening of the record’s title song and its ensuing solid time keeping to the thrash sound of ‘The Revelation’ to the much more brooding, guitar-driven arrangement of ‘the Cult of Chaos,’ the first half of this record easily ensures listeners’ engagement.  While the last of that trio is brooding in nature, it still is a forward-driving arrangement that keeps the record’s energy flowing in its own right.  The re-mixes that make up the record’s second half keep that energy flowing just as much with their arrangements.  That is the case even as the arrangements stand on their own merits separate from those presented in their counterparts.  Considering this, it is clear that much thought and time was put into the record’s sequencing.  That thought and time paid off, as it ensures just as much audiences’ continued engagement.  When joined with the thought put into the record’s chosen songs and their arrangements, the whole of the record’s presentation ensures it to be a work overall that, once again industrial metal purists will appreciate.

<Pig>’s latest studio effort Prey & Obey is a work that any industrial metal purist will appreciate.  That is due in part to its six-song body and their arrangements, each of which stand separate from one another, ensuring listeners’ enjoyment.  While three of the songs featured are re-mixes, the fact that the re-mixes give the originals their own new identity makes arguing them as their own original that much easier.  The songs’ lyrical content definitely is certain to create quite a bit of discussion among listeners.  Whether one agrees or disagrees with that content, the discussions that are certain to be generated from that content proves its importance just as much as the songs and their arrangements. The songs’ sequencing rounds out the most important of the record’s elements.  The energy exuded in each song shows that much time and thought was put into the record’s sequencing, ensuring even more that previously noted maintained engagement. When all three elements are joined, they make the record in whole, once again, a whole that any industrial metal purist will appreciate.  It is available now online and in stores.  More information on Prey & Obey is available online now along with all of <Pig>’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pigindustries.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pigindustries

Twitter: http://twitter.com/raymondwatts

 

 

 

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