Shadow Zone

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Static-X's Shadow Zone seems to have arrived via wormhole from 1998. In songs like "Kill Your Idols," "Destroy All," and "Monster," Wayne Static -- who's never sounded more like Korn's Jonathan Davis -- yells "My head's a loaded gun" and "Breathing, killing, seething, willing" over thudding thrash busied up with electronic fuzz. Producer Josh Abraham (Orgy, Crazy Town) buries the drumming behind a wall of guitars, and by mid-album, "The Only"'s foray into Stabbing Westward-style electro-industrial provides depth by heading in a different direction. (Even here, Static's vocal still resembles Davis.) Reliance on formula has always been admissible in metal, and Static-X are indeed formulaic on Shadow Zone, although as the album draws to a close, "So" and "Invincible" debut some sort of double-track effect on Static's voice, which makes him sound like Layne Staley instead of Davis.

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