Article and Photos by: Wendy Podmenik Darugar
NORFOLK, VA: Where has this band been all my life? Nestled into a genre that’s right up my alley, industrial/nu-metal band Static-X has rejoined the scene, with a twist and a purpose. Currently touring both as a memorial tribute to late lead singer Wayne Static and a celebration of the 20th anniversary of debut album Wisconsin Death Trip, on this evening they are joined by Dope, Wednesday 13, and Raven Black.
Raven Black hit the stage complete in costume, creepy makeup, and a variety of props ranging from a hula hoop to a huge teddy bear. Setting the tone for the rest of the evening, this band’s theatrical performance straddles the world of metal and childlike imagery, Chuckie style, which made for interesting visuals. Gearing up for the release of their third album, The Key, this L.A. band is self described as a “Dark Metal Carnival”, which is extremely fitting.
Lights lower as Wednesday 13 comes on, and you can’t get much darker than this- a vocalist wearing masks with flourescent paint- and backwards!- swinging knife blades, dripping ooze with insects, pure performance theater. With a horror/punk metal theme and the intent to shock, Wednesday 13 is worth seeing for the stage show alone.
Turn the energy up on that dial to 11, because Dope is now here, and they make an impact onstage with all the jumps, movement, and the beat. The history of bands such as Dope, Static X, Wednesday 13, Ministry, Prong, and others reveals that there is quite a mix between players and a shared love of industrial metal, having all sprung from the same movement and time frame.
Static X: Could have, would have, should have are the first words that come to my mind, as this band had some powerful, kicking singles released from the first album, Wisconsin Death Trip. I can only assume that member change ups, record label manipulations to the sound, and the temptations of fame and life on the road derailed what was amazing and unique. Dedicated fans remember; and there was an honesty that shined through in the tributes to Wayne Static between songs. The twist here is that a fantastic masked mystery vocalist has taken the helm and fills the gap where Wayne is now gone. This is truly all about the music and the memory to Wayne, and an incredible line up of bands that intimately share the history. Upcoming tour dates can be found here: