Album Review: Static-X – Cult of Static

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For years, fans have watched Static-X trudge past the classic Wisconsin Death Trip up through various soundtrack spots, from Queen Of The Damned to Punisher: War Zone — yet after all this time, their style has hardly changed. However, to be fair, this mainstream industrial behemoth has maintained some credit, adding more textures to their music without disrupting the intent, which was always to make people essentially lose their minds. Heads continue to roll with the group’s sixth album, Cult of Static, but not in the way these Californians intended.

Simply put, Cult of Static is a mess. The handful of mistakes here resemble a band that threw things together without thinking too far ahead. They dare to be different though, but it’s less daring and moreover unfortunate.

In place of gut busters like “Fix” or crash course, hit singles like “Dirthouse” are sappy dedications, a soundtrack inclusion (“Lunatic” from Punisher: War Zone) and songs that, for the most part, feel like stati…I mean, useless noise of Ring-like proportions. It’s not just the music to blame, either. Lyrically, Static and Co. have always held at least some fraction of depth, yet these songs feel hollow and rather cheated. So, where did it all go wrong?

Things got “personal.”

Between 2007 and 2009, frontman Wayne Static managed to court the sensational former porn star Tera Wray, who gave up her career at the time they started dating (gee, thanks Wayne!). In honor of their established relationship, there are two tracks here, “Stingwray” and “Terafied” (a nod to Oscar Wilde?), that most definitely draw inspiration from the new flame. While keeping it real and personal isn’t something entirely new for the band (e.g. the Ostego songs?), these inclusions come off rather, well, tepid.

Anyone who attended 2007’s Ozzfest might know that Static-X is not a bad band. Together they create some engaging music, and two years later the heart ripping solos of Cannibal still come to mind. Yet Cult of Static is an utter disappointment, and partly because it seems more like a Wayne Static solo effort, and an extremely distracted one to boot (I wonder why). What happened exactly between getting some action and the songwriting involved here remains a mystery, but in the end it’s nothing one monstrosity of a tour can’t fix. In a sense, that seems to be the case with a lot of acts in their league these days.

Better luck next time, Static.

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