Believe it or not, come November of 2024 it will be a decade since Static-X founder Wayne Static passed away. A tragic loss at only 48 years of age, Wayne Static (and Static-X) left an undeniable mark on the early 2000s Industrial and Alternative Metal scene starting with 1999’s Wisconsin Death Trip and moving along to 2009’s Cult of Static. A ten-year period of continued quality music, naturally, when Static passed in 2014 most thought that was the end of Static-X. However, as they say, legends never die, because original Bassist Tony Campos, Guitarist Koichi Fukuda and Drummer Ken Jay revealed plans in late 2018 to reunite the band.
Rather curious to some, the plan also included the release of new music! Even more pondering, what many did not know was that there was indeed a bundle of archived, never before released Static-X songs. A factor that the surviving members of the band were not even aware of themselves, giving to mourn the passing of Static, they later reconveyed, finished off twelve tracks together (with isolated, previously recorded vocals of Static), and released it in 2020 as Project Regeneration Vol. 1. Going over quite well with fans, the album vocal parts were not solely of Static’s of course; there were also guest spots from Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, and the mysterious XerO.
This all-in mind, Static-X has remained active since, touring with Campos, Fukuda, Jay, and the masked XerO. Still exciting fans, most figured that music heard on Project Regeneration Vol. 1 would be the final chapter of Wayne Static’s treasure chest of music… or was it? Apparently it was not, because the band are set to put out more never before released tracks in 2024.
Calling the new collection Project Regeneration Vol. 2, it arrives on January 26th through Otsego Entertainment Group and consists of fourteen songs. Now, to clarify, Project Regeneration Vol. 2 features the final vocal performances and musical works of Wayne Static. That in mind, featured on the record are also the aforementioned Campos, Fukuda, Jay, as well as current band Vocalist/Guitarist XerO; just like Vol 1. Together they produced the songs, while mixing/mastering was handled by long-time collaborator Ulrich Wild.
With each of these factors presented, for further understanding of what exactly the Project Regeneration Vol. 2 release is about… it offers very fitting Static-X songs that compliment the early 2000s era of their music. Think material heard on albums such as 2003’s Shadow Zone or 2005’s Start A War as points of references. Following a similar trajectory to Vol. 1, the story is that the foundation for these tracks were all created during the window of 2003 to 2005. So, does it sound and feel like Static-X? Of course it does!
The best part is, while you may think these songs were probably shelved for so many years because they were nothing special, you would be wrong; they truly do sound great. Not throwaways or fill-in tracks, the whole collection is enjoyable, but some bold standouts include “Stay Alive,” “Z0mbie,” “Black Star,” “Kamikaze,” “No Hope,” and “Dark Place.” Beyond these, there are really no dull moments in each dark corner of Vol. 2; plus a cool added bonus is the cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Terrible Lie.”
Overall, Project Regeneration Vol. 2 is a perfect compliment to 2020’s Vol 1.. That considered, if this is truly the conclusion of any dominant Wayne Static recordings, it is a fitting addition to his legacy. Thinking this over, Static-X continues to tour into 2024 with XerO… so will they also continue along after this cycle? Something that remains to be seen, there is really no reason they should not; the lineup is strong and XerO is a perfect fit on vocals. A respectful tribute to the late Wayne Static, it is recommended to check out Static-X live in 2024, and also pick up Project Regeneration Vol. 2, because Cryptic Rock gives it 4.5 out of 5 stars.