Start a War

Studio Album by released in 2005

Start a War review

After some rather unneeded drama, one of the coolest bands to emerge from the nu-metal scene, Static-X, have returned with their fourth studio album, Start A War. Despite the album title, and a few of the song titles, there is no political agenda being pushed by the band, "war" is used as a metaphor. To create this album, Static-X not only re-united with producer Ulrich Wild (Taproot, Powerman 5000), but also with original guitarist Koichi Fukuda, who was undeniably a massive creative force in the band. What we have here, is easily the best material the 'X have turned in since their 1999 debut Wisconsin Death Trip.

From the beginning, Start A War lights into a guttural guitar strut over refreshing live drumming and doesn't let up, masking Static's laughably atrocious lyrics (keywords: destroy, kill, hate, fall, terror, self-destruct) with an unrelenting roar. Start A War is a raging, rollicking good time that hardly ever pauses to catch a breath. Much as Fukuda and Wild are integral parts of the band's success, however, it's dynamic frontman Wayne Static that steals the show with his acrobatic vocal turns. Even more effective than Static's singing voice is the band's sense of humor. The niftiest song on the album might well be I Want to Fucking Break It, which starts with a sample of polka music that shows up intermittently to alternate with the thrash of the rest of the song. Hearing Static scream the title in perfect rhythmic synchronization with that little polka motif is truly one of life's simpler pleasures. Of course, there is a fourth installment of the Otsego series that has graced all of the Static-X album, this one called Otsego Amigo. All in all, it's easy to find yourself laughing while listening to Start A War far more than you likely ever thought you would.

Enemy has a fast skipping intro with trippy, bobbing guitars and drums. Some keyboards are included, giving this song a spacey vibe, and Wayne goes from whispering to laying down a couple of "Machine"-esque yells, to staccato vocals. Start A War has beeping synthesizers in the verses. The guitars and vocals explode in the choruses, though. Pieces has stop-start, staccato riffing and vocals, plus a mini guitar solo. Dirthouse begins and ends with almost a machine gun snare drum attack. The middle has soft, chugging guitar riffs with some synths. Skinnyman has a lurching groove with chugging, industrial-tinged guitars. Just in Case begins with a booming, pounding rhythm, but then it turns to non-dominating guitars, synths, and vocals which switch from whispering to fairly clean and proper crooning. Brainfog is maybe the weirdest song ever written by this band. The first two and a half minutes is sheer techno, followed by five minutes of silence. This is then followed by a capella vocals.

Even with the heavy moments, Start A War probably has the most electronica out of all four of their releases. Static-X has always been a solid industrial metal band, but here they are melodic techno-metal. Wayne and Company made this new sound by combining the metallic moments from their previous albums and adding more electronics. Static-X has been around for six years now, making a surprisingly mainstream splash on the usually well-hidden industrial-metal scene with Wisconsin Death Trip. Some called it death-disco, some called it techno-thrash, but whatever it was, it was oddly catchy and it had a satisfying streak of black humor to go with it. In two albums since then, Static-X have tried to recapture the magic of Wisconsin Death Trip, and have succeeded in expanding their horizons.