Fear Factory keep making the same album over and over again. After the beautiful resurrection that occurred with the release of “Archetype” in 2004 and “Transmission” in 2005 the band once again changed personal and welcomed back original guitarist Dino and got rid of Christian and Raymond. The band essentially became Vocalist Burton and Guitarist Dino with some hired hands handling the rhythm section. This was when the soul of this machine died and the machine essentially became mechanical, robotic and scientifically modified to deliver a very cold and very template “Fear Factory” by numbers sound. This was a great disappointment because Fear Factory used to be at the forefront of Heavy Metal evolution and with their 2005 album “Transmission” they showed great promise of taking the sound firmly into the new decade with a different sound. Unfortunately this was not meant to be.
The 2010 released “Mechanize” – the first new material with Dino – was an experiment in attack over evolution. The band proved over the course of that album just how heavy they could be but it was at the sacrifice of their adventurous spirit which was disappointing. It started to feel like you’d heard it all before. The hype surrounding the release of “The Industrialist” was rooted in the whole “return to form” ethos that so often gets lumped on any Metal band that has lasted longer than ten years. Although I was disappointed with “Mechanize” I couldn’t turn my back on Fear Factory because I still view them as a great heavy metal band.
“The Industrialist” is indeed a step in the right direction and is a better record than 2010’s “Mechanize” but it is still a demonstration of the band becoming the machine. Like the narratives that so commonly exist within the Fear Factory universe the band has lost the ability to sound human and without that soul you just have a very auto pilot sounding record. That is my main complaint with Fear Factory circa 2012.
All of these criticisms aside, I still get enjoyment out of Fear Factory. They have one of the most unique and recognisable languages in musical history and I love the collision of riff, industrial and melody. It sounded amazing in 1998 and it still gets me off in 2012.
Fear Factory is an ongoing organisation that has had many different eras and this new part of the story sounds like it is only beginning and hopefully as the machine grows and evolves somehow the creative souls at the centre of it will remember to be a little bit more human with their approach.
7 Cassette Tapes out of 10