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Shadow Zone

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  • I regret for writing a negative review before. I definitely take it back, and I apologize to whoever found it ‘helpful’. I’ve liked it for some time now, and have only just gotten around to writing another review for it. That negative review was growing heavy on my conscience, so I just had to tell people the truth about this album. It does take some getting used to, but it IS worth it. I think it took even longer time for me to get used to because, before it was released, I heard it was going to be “more industrial and melodic.” After listening to the first six tracks, and particularly “Destroy All”, I can safely say they were definitly not more melodic. It’s kind of hard to describe it, but there’s a new sound running through this album (not only the melodic tracks, but the heavy ones, too). The sound is new because it is a far departure from ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’ and ‘Machine.’I'd say Static-X’s new sound is half Fear Factory and Disturbed influenced, and half their own sound. Neither “Destroy All” or the melodic moments are good representations of this C.D. If I were to steer someone towards the new sound, I’d recommend hearing “Otsegolectric”. The aforementioned ‘new sound’ puts a harder edge on the songs. It’s full of roaring and crushing guitar and bass riffs that are layered on top of eachother resulting in a wall of awesome guitar noise. But it is not just loud cacophony. The music often turns into a surging groove, where the guitars gain energy and speed and build off eachother. With this harder edge on the songs, it’s hard to discern the bass from the guitars, but it is there. It anchors the songs and backs the guitars with an almost grumbling/growling background undertone. With all this metal music, one might guess Wayne’s voice is a typical metal howl (maybe Sully Erna’s or Cory Taylor’s). But the vocals are better than either of theirs. The signature yell is still ample, but Wayne actually sings on many of these tracks (“The Only,” “So,” etc.), and some good growls (which are framed well by the music) and staccato barks are peppered throughout. “Destroy All” is one of the two hardest C.D.s Static-X have written. Every band member includes it in their “favorite songs to play live”, and with good reason. It shows Wayne can still yell, and, because it’s the first track on the disc, it’s almost like an onslaught that takes the listener’s head off. I didn’t like this song at first, but it grew on me. (At the risk of sounding corny), when I hear it now, I seriously want to get up and jump around. Mosh pits were made for songs like this. “Control It” combines very catchy/hooky riff with more real singing. ‘”Shadow Zone’ contrasts disco high-hat and a bobbing beat with barbed guitars and staccato vocals”–John Wiederhorn. The bobbing beat is like hearing little tid-bits of music, with a guitar weaving in and out (like a groundhog popping in and out of holes). This is a perfect mesh with the staccato vocals. “Monster” is similar to “Shadow Zone”, but speedier. I can just imagine doing floor/ step exercises at the gym while listening to this. It’s great to get pumped up to. “The Only” is a turning point for the C.D. This is still a heavy metal tune, but (starting here), the band incorporates more industrial music, and even a little techno and keyboards. Another momentum gainer, maximized by brief, spuradic pauses.A great mix, a great song. “So” is kind of the peak of the mountain. Up to this point, “Shadow Zone” has been gaining momentum, and instead of making a song that’s even more heavy than the others, “So” is one of two most industrial-lite and melodic songs that the band have written. It’s not quite a ballad, but very pretty nonetheless. Kind of like Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”, but with more guitars. All the melody in this album establishes great friction between it and the heavy stuff. So, buy this C.D. You may not like it at first, but definitely hold onto it, because once you start liking it, you will realize this is an awesome C.D.!

    Posted on March 1, 2010