CannibalIf you’re unfamiliar with the name Static-X and for some reason the knife and fork decorated skull on the album cover doesn’t give it away, this is a metal band. In fact, Cannibal is the band’s fifth album since their debut in 1999 to the platinum-certified Wisconsin Death Trip. Since then, the band has gained and lost members and produced several different sounds. But now with three of the four original members on board for this album, they’re almost back to their origins.

Perhaps that’s why Cannibal is touted as their most stripped-down, back to basics metal album to date. Says lead singer Wayne Static, “With this record, I had a good time just getting back to balls-out screaming and challenging myself vocally… I focused on stripping away the excess as much as possible to write short, simple, catchy songs.” He’s almost right on the money with his description of the album: the excess has been stripped away, he is screaming, and the songs are short and simple… but are they catchy? Not really.

Despite a super quick tempo and some impressive vocal work by Static, the songs begin to sound fairly repetitive and are too short to leave much of a lasting impression. As Static spits out the lyrics in quick rapid-fire blurbs like “Open wide / Scratch your eye / Bite the sky / Fallen lie” in the explosive “Forty Ways” it’s almost like he’s just thinking of phrases that rhyme and sound vaguely uncomfortable and then stringing them together. The occasional searing guitar solos that show up throughout are welcome, but few and far between. “Chemical Logic” has a computer altered voice offering backup vocals with Static’s screaming lyrics and a pretty hip trippy beat. The title track, “Cannibal” is actually a biting (no pun intended) indictment of meat-eaters, as Static, a vegetarian, compares eating meat to cannibalism.

Static-X has been around for over a decade and whichever direction they take next, they’re going to have lauders and detractors. Though this new/old stripped-down approach to their music might get some listeners pumped, others may feel like something is missing from the Satic-X they’ve come to expect.

Zach’s Rating: C+
Perfect For: A little banging about on your way home from Hot Topic
Stay Away If: You appreciate it when you can understand lyrics

To purchase Cannibal, visit Amazon
For more information on Static-X, including tour dates, visit their homepage

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