A comeback many people awaited for, gets us by the throats in the beggining of this year. For sure, if the whole year goes like this, there will be no doubts of how alive metal is. Fear Factory is back with a vengeance, avenging all those who rushed to bury them and consider them dead. No gentlemen, this thing is living and it’s after you to haunt you until you regret your past behavior towards them. To make matters worse for you, we have the return of original shredder Dino Cazares and the recruitment of Gene Hoglan on drums. Damn, this is really heavy, on all sides.
The title track opens the new identity of FF convincingly, and what we get to understand from the beginning is that the chemistry between Bell and Cazares is still active and working perfect. The rhythm section causes no surprise, since Stroud and Hoglan have been yearly bandmates in Strapping Young Lad, a band which definitely had influences from FF. Combining the individuality and skills of these gentlemen, the album is a well worked clock that lacks no seconds or minutes and hours. Everything is in place and for the 45 minutes it lasts, landscapes of the past meet the vision of the future.
Soundwise, it is the album with the most ‘death metal’ vibe the band has released since ”Demanufacture”. It took them 15 years to produce something like that but it fits them for sure, while it is as mature as ”Obsolete” sounded when it was released. It is heavier than the past three releases of the band, meaning ”Digimortal”, ”Archetype” and ”Transgression” and mostly we have to deal with a two sided album. On the first seven songs, the band smashes everything in its wake, while the last two songs ”Designing The Enemy” and ”Final Exit” close the album in a more emotional and epic way.
While the attack lasts, the double intrusion of ”Fear Campaign” (for which a videoclip has been shot) and ”Powershifter” (which was the first sample of the album for everyone to hear) decapitates heads that don’t feel comfortable between shoulders. ”Christplotation” which is about religion is an enraged statement of antiproselytism and ”Oxidizer” alongside ”Controlled Demolition” (strange sense of control, this makes ears bleed) complete the nihilistic first scenery, before things ease with the last two songs. In overall, this is a complete release, producing some new elements which you’ll find loveable, but without big changes in the sound we all have loved the past 18 years.
To be honest, the first times i listened to the album, I was very strict to it. With each new listening, it grows inside me and I have to admit that my great love for them, made me unarguably strict and bitter at first. This is a good album, but the sense that they will do better rolls around my mind. If we consider that five years of absence were enough, it feeds our hunger for sure. It may sound as if they released a safe card, but that doesn’t mean that this is not good. And I am glad to say that it is better than I initially thought it was. More are yet to come, let’s see if and how much alive the machine is in the year of 2010. I hope they’ll stand the test of time like most times did.
02. Industrial Discipline
03. Fear Campaign
07. Controlled Demolition
08. Designing The Enemy
09. Metallic Division
10. Final Exit
|Burton C. Bell – Vocals
Dino Cazares – Guitars
Byron Stroud – Bass
Gene Hoglan – Drums