With experience under their belts, a firm grasp on the workings of their instruments, and more than a bit of rage righteously directed towards corruption, Factory 81 remain, posthumously, one of my favorite bands, and with good reason. Their style is definitely unlike that of any other band I've known classified under the "nu-metal" label, and those brave enough to give it a listen shouldn't be disappointed at all.
Nanu - Opening with a nice bit of palm-muted wah guitar, this song quickly devolves into a metalesque standard, rampant with absolutely top-notch drumming, chugging, heavily distorted guitars, rattling basslines, and Nate's trademark Middle Eastern-influenced vocal melodies. Not a bad song in its own right, but pales in comparison with the better material on the album. 3/5
Peace Officer - "Check it out, Factory 81, cutting their first full-length", Nate sneers over a backdrop of rumbling bass and guitar harmonics, "And here's a message about the ****en' pigs." And what a message it is. Whilst unlikely to appeal to any law officers or their close of kin, this is in fact a quality track, based upon a bit of Nate's life experience. Amazing drumming, excellent, offbeat basslines, and rather decent guitar work coalesce to form a quality song, one of the best of the album. 4/5
14 Left - Nothing special at all, this song features decidedly uninteresting guitar/bass interplay, and rather bland vocals. The drumming is, as expected, above average, but that doesn't save the song from its own repetitiveness. 2/5
Rotten Strawberries - Accompanied by a rather interesting little essay in the insert/liner note, Rotten Strawberries tells the story of a boy who dedicated and then sacrificed his life to serving those around him, unrewarded and unacknowledged even at the very moment of his death. One of my favorites off of the album, features a great deal of ambience in the vocals, and very recognizable Middle Eastern influence in the melody and rhythm structures. 4/5
Belligerence - Not a lot different from 14 Left, the texture and overall composition of this song is somewhat lacking, and unappealing to me. Features a bit of rapping courtesy of Nate, if that's your thing, you might enjoy the song a bit more than I have -- as it stands, I usually skip this one. 2/5
3 O'Clock Love Letter - Quality permeates this song from beginning to end. Intelligent lyrics present the perspective of a depressed individual with self-esteem issues, and manages to deal with "feeling unloved" in a tasteful, intelligent fashion. More ambience and amazing drumming and bass pervade this song. 5/5
Ephedrine - One of the best off of the album, one of my favorite songs. It features a texture-lush guitar riff with a few well-placed harmonics, and an absolutely killer breakdown. The drumming is still, as ever, lovely, and though the bass doesn't stray from the guitar at all, there should be no complaints -- it's all brilliant and very well-constructed. Absolutely killer. 5/5
Diary of a Serial Killer - Another great song. Not a slayer, but nonetheless very well put together, incorporating some rhythmic wah guitar, grinding bassline, quality drumming, and some clever breakdowns. Perhaps nothing unheard of before, and the vocals admittedly get a bit annoying, but not bad at all. 3/5
Cheese Wheel - Creepy, whispering samples courtesy of DJ Buttah Fingiz open this song. All the usual elements coalesce, decent guitar and bass, nice vocals, beautiful drumming, with the addition of said DJ's samples and scratches throughout the song... all very tastefully integrated. Yet more ambience prevails. 4/5
Sludge - The intro to this song always manages to lodge itself in my head -- in the best possible way -- and refuses to leave for days. Yet more clever drumming, oddly-timed melodic basslines, and rather killer guitars form another excellent track. 4/5
Peace Officer (Rhys Fulber's Black And Blue mix) - Reached by laboriously skipping ahead to track eighty-one, this is a hidden, unlisted track. You'll want to rip the album and create a new track configuration, with this song more accessible, though, because it is undoubtedly the best on the album, far superior to the original mix. Rhys Fulber absolutely outdoes himself on this song, transforming the already-excellent Peace Officer into a seamless blend of rhythmic riffing, engaging basslines, mad drumming, and tasteful samples/scratches. 5/5
Overall, this album has managed to impress me endlessly. It rages with all the fury of RATM, mellows out abruptly like the Deftones, and yet manages to sound like neither. Factory 81 had a unique sound and a promising future, it's too bad that they disbanded in the progress of recording their second album. Regardless, that shouldn't stop you from enjoying Mankind, and I hope you do.
they are releasing the songs they recorded for their now never to be released new album on the site. For FREE :D . You can find them on kazaa too. Supposedly there are 16 (including the 6 theyve already given us) but theres no definite figure.
I've heard of them referred to as melodic hardcore. I'm not an expert on the newer schools of hardcore at all, but I didn't find that to be an entirely unacceptable genre for them, sorry if you're offended.