Review Summary: A cult? What cult? A metaphor perhaps?
Even with 2007’s Cannibal leaving Static-X with a power plant of material to electrify upon the next release, the group offer very little with their latest, and what’s more is that we’ve been saying this on how many albums? While the sound of Static-X remains well forged (that is it hasn’t changed from chopping layers of guitar, synthesized drums and samples) the convolution into lesser musical terrains is all overcoming upon the group. Industrial of this style has a place, but that’s only if the songs have some sort of stamina to them – here they don’t, at least not enough.
for example, is rhythmically bland amidst music seemingly arranged out of poor form, and is no where near salvaged by Dave Mustaine’s randomly placed 80s lead – nor is its clone “You Am I”
which nearly copies the opener verbatim. Wayne Static himself clouds the dance metal practices of the group even further by devolving into David Draiman’s (Disturbed) twin brother of barking vocal techniques. It is of course no surprise, but the question was, when it was going to happen. Furthermore, his depiction of a self-following ‘cult’ adds unnecessary amounts of pomposity to the package. If Static truly thinks his following will multiply after such a poor release, then he should be turning to Nikola Tesla’s cult-worthy eccentricities for some true electrical inspiration to power a dwindling mindset.
previously mentioned rhythmical marks are scattered throughout the album like little evolutions on similar theme, partially feeling like Meshuggah
’s Catch 33
under the microscope. It leaves a legacy for the rest of the album to build upon, but never manages to find. Songs like “Terminal”
have a lighter, more accessible outer to them, that resembles Distubed
’s buzz-metal clichés, so much that it would almost feel natural if Static broke out into a clear croon between the Chihuahua-barks of abuse. Similarly the album’s more attainable moments like “Tera-fied”
that uses popping synth throughout and “Skinned”
with sawing guitar only rescue themselves by having moments of fleeting success during their short-lived choruses; success that unfortunately isn’t qualified. These and others also suffer from a thinner production that terminates any justification for the samey guitar and drum collaborations that sound reminiscent to a poor man’s version of 2001’s Machine
minus most of the electronic hooks that made that particular album and others worthwhile.
Those who can be rejoicing from this are the car makers, who will take anything they can get during these rough economic times. Specifically GM will certainly be delighted
by the inclusion of two Chevrolet models; the Stingw
ray (Corvette) and the Z28 (Camaro). Stingwray is a meld of both the car and his wife’s last name, “Wray”; maybe he’s trying to subtly self promote her naughty adult videos as well? Lyrically however, the mind-trap of Static appears to be equivalent to a three year old playing with his Matchbox collection. Lines such as “try to keep it on a straight line / burning those slicks / brawler crawler / keep it on the red line” come off as laughable and childish, while others merely nullify any possibilities of redemption.
Certainly Static has never been the poetic aficionado, but each of the songs come close to some of his worst creations – those who want a decent track outlining the love for a Corvette should try out Prince
’s “Little Red Corvette”
from 1983’s 1999
. While conservative fans will most likely enjoy much of the material offered here, because it builds upon the sound found before Cannibal, others will recognise the album’s many flaws such as unflattering lyrics, sonic slenderness, monotonous and ill-placed guitar solos, and finally minimalism that isn’t complemented by redeeming melodies. The fact of the matter is that Cult of Static
leaves much to be desired for the group, who have mangled a sound that was turning towards promising results after 2007, perhaps there is still enough time for improvement, and the possibility of Wayne Static and Co to focus more on musical quality rather than self-indulgent upbringings.