STATIC-X — Wisconsin Death Trip (review)

STATIC-X — Wisconsin Death Trip album cover Album · 1999 · Industrial Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Unitron
"Speed toward hell, shed no tears"

By the end of the 90's, there was not an explosion of new fantastic industrial metal bands and albums like there was at the beginning of the decade. Treponem Pal had released their masterpiece "Higher" in '97, which would be their last album for about a decade, and Fear Factory and Rammstein were going strong. That was about it. However, come the year of 1999, and the industrial metal band Static-X unleashed their debut studio album Wisconsin Death Trip to the world.

Static-X brought their own fresh sound to the industrial metal scene, using a blend of the atmospheric heaviness of Fear Factory, the groove and catchiness of a Godflesh beat, and the pulsing EBM/Electro-Industrial of Front Line Assembly. Bringing together all the elements of what makes industrial music so great, while not copying any of these bands is what makes this album have such a winning sound.

As soon as the grooving "Push It" blasts through your speakers, this album doesn't let up until the ambient "December" closes out the album. This is perfect cyberpunk video game music, the kind of stuff that goes perfectly with a game of Quake II or even Doom. That's not to say that it doesn't work on it's own, quite the contrary. Take the mechanical screeching in "Push It" that emulate power drills, or the underlying atmosphere throughout the album, this embraces everything industrial.

Going back to the mention of cyber, the menacing "The Trance is the Motion" showcases an early example of the cyber metal sound. It may take place as my favorite on the album. It is engulfed in a stark atmosphere, screeching and down-tuned riffs, chaotic screams, and has a pretty epic vibe for being only 5 minutes long. Honestly, I think this song should have closed out the album rather than the slightly boring "December". Apart from that last song though, the rest of the album is all fantastic. Especially the songs dominated by a massive groove while keeping the futuristic atmosphere. "Stem", "Bled for Days", and the title track are in particular highlights.

Despite the highlights, this is an album that is meant to be listened to all the way through. Each song bleeds into the next, and makes for a good CD to turn on for any occasion that requires a surge of industrial metal goodness. This is a classic album of the industrial genre, and one that the band wouldn't match until 2007's Cannibal. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
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Unitron wrote:
6 months ago
I used to always prefer Machine and Cannibal to this one, but over time this has easily become my favorite Static-X album as well as one of my favorite industrial metal albums.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
6 months ago
I actually like this one a bit myself :)

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