Project: Regeneration Vol. 2

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Stay Alive
02. Z0mbie
03. Jic-Boi
04. Black Star
05. Kamikaze
06. No Hope
07. Take Control
08. Tone
09. Run For Your Life
10. Dark Place
11. Disco Otsego
12. From Heaven

It makes the brain ache to think that 25 years have passed since STATIC-X released "Wisconsin Death Trip". One of the nu-metal era's most distinctive bands, the LA-based industrial rockers hit the jackpot with both the aforementioned debut and 2001's vicious "Machine", and while their later efforts have largely faded from collective memory, their now sadly departed frontman, Wayne Static, remains an iconic figure, if only for that haircut.

STATIC-X rose from the dead in tribute to their former leader in 2018, with mysterious new frontman Xer0 joining the rest of the band's original line-up. 2020's "Project: Regeneration Vol. 1" smoothed the rough ground between past and present, using parts of Wayne Static's final studio recordings and performances from Xer0 as well as a few special guests. Easily the best record to bear the band's name since "Machine", it was a self-evident labor of love that could have provided a neat period point at the end of the STATIC-X story.

As things stand, the Californians are very much keeping the flag aloft. "Project: Regeneration Vol. 2" features the last of Wayne Static's songs and vocal performances and is offered as a companion piece to its predecessor, with 12 brand new tracks and a suitably devastating production job courtesy of that man Xer0. If you loved them before, you will love them now, because this has all done been done with utmost respect for Static's legacy.

Far closer in spirit and execution to MINISTRY and FEAR FACTORY than to the gurning jock-suckers of nu-metal, STATIC-X had a great formula that still rings true after all this time. These songs are partly exercises in nostalgia, but the benefits of industrial metal's futuristic aesthetic is that this band's music still sounds like the soundtrack to some blood-soaked sci-fi flick. "Stay Alive" and "Z0mbie" are both gnarly, juggernaut industrial rockers, with sharp, gleaming hooks and all the futuristic movie samples and intrusive, formless noise that any cyber-nerd could desire. "Jic-Boi" is similarly direct and maximalist: a torrent of jagged-edge riffs and furious petulance, it takes less than three minutes to turn the dancefloor to rubble. In contrast, "Black Star" is a spaced-out, mid-paced monster that owes more than a little to KORN, but in the best possible way. The swagger that made STATIC-X so easy to like first time around is still here in abundance, with the spirit of their former figurehead alive in every riff and every scream. Brilliantly one-dimensional and dumb, "Kamikaze" sounds like a classic attack of the killer robots, with extra crunchy distortion, while "No Hope" is the sound of guitar-toting machines in rebellion, with everything cranked to the maximum.

As ever, there is little room for subtlety, and the album's second half is a mirror image of the first, with more brutish singalongs over scything, post-PRONG riffage and persistent ripples of digital dissonance. The techno-terrorist boogie of "Disco Otsego" and the blank-eyed, gothic grooves of the closing "From Heaven" (a fiendishly misnamed cover of ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN's "The Disease") end this heartfelt project on a resounding high note. A bonus cover of NINE INCH NAILS' "Terrible Lie" salutes one of STATIC-X's more obvious inspirations with undeniable gusto.

The decks have been cleared and STATIC-X have honored their fallen friend in the best possible way. "Project: Regeneration Vol. 2" is satisfyingly heavy, aggressive and dark, but it's also celebratory, slightly unhinged and vastly more entertaining than anyone could have anticipated. A job well done. Meanwhile, the prospect of more, albeit with Xer0 firmly installed as frontman, suddenly seems rather appealing.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).