Sound: Although Static-X's latest release Cannibal Killers Live may be packaged in your typical double-disk CD package, it's the DVD portion that is the main attraction. The CD is actually just a replay of what you'll hear on the DVD's concert portion, which by the way features an impressive audio mix. In fact, the band was so on the mark musically that it almost seemed like the band was using a recording - but I really do think it was Wayne and the guys performing live in all their glory. Considering that Static-X has a polished sound that lends itself to a recording studio, the DVD is a testament to the band's true musicianship in any environment.
Recorded at The Big Easy in Spokane, Washington, Cannibal Killers Live features all the big hits you might expect at a Static-X show. Push It, Cannibal, and Submission are all standouts, but every song highlights the band's chemistry. The keyboards/sampling do seem to come from offstage (no musician is seen delivering these key parts) and that's the only huge issue with the 17-song live concert. Although it's a pretty straightforward show, it is definitely hard to deny the stage presence (and intriguing, vertical hair) of frontman Wayne Static. Not to be undone, guitarist Koichi Fukuda plays a huge part in taking Static-X's songs from power chord-driven industrial offerings to melodic and technically strong compositions.
Besides The Big Easy show, the DVD also includes pretty much every video that Static-X has released during its 14 years together. Listening to/watching the videos emphasizes all the more how tight the band sounds at the Spokane show. They are nearly identical audio-wise, and that's a big compliment to the band. The creativity in the 12 videos is very impressive, and you see everything from stop motion animation (Push It) to a straightforward and raw approach (the live clip Bled For Days). And as was mentioned earlier, disk 2 is the CD portion of the release, which is essentially the audio version of the live show. // 9
Content: Between the engaging live show and the complete set of videos, there is quite a bit of content in terms of the main feature. The quality is excellent on the DVD, and that in itself makes for an enjoyable watching experience. The concert and videos will keep you occupied for at least a few hours, but don't expect too many extras. There isn't any behind-the-scenes action or backstage interviews, and that's a bit of a letdown. However, there is a fairly novel bonus: You can program in your very own Static-X ringtones. // 8
Production Quality: There aren't too many complaints in this area, particularly because there are so many camera angles covered during the course of the live show. Not only do you get the usual close-ups of Wayne's face and various guitar riffage, you also get some very cool shots of the bass pedal in action. There's a lot of creativity in terms of the camera work, and it makes for a well-rounded concert viewing. Of course, the audio is also incredible and definitely worthy of being given the main focus on the CD disk. // 9
Overall Impression: Cannibal Killers Live is a release for the fans and is probably mean to tie us over until the next studio release, but it still make a quality impression on the viewer. During the Spokane show Wayne Static declares, We are the kings of evil disco, which is an odd, yet fitting label for the band. Between Static's onstage movements, always entertaining facial expression, and of course, the grooving synth lines/samples, the live show does grab your attention - and almost has that danceable club-like feel to top it all off. That may scare some of you away, but the band does show its versatility along the way and proves they aren't just relying on the studio to create its thick, gritty wall of sound. // 8