Fear Factory
Mechanize


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
January 29th, 2010 | 582 replies | 50,069 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The evidence is simply too overwhelming. The court has no choice but to rule in favor of Dino and Burton.

If the only evidence allowed in the legal battle over the Fear Factory moniker was music, the case would already be over. In that regard, the facts against Christian Wolbers and Raymond Herrera are just too overwhelming to ignore. To begin with, there are the two albums that were released without Dino Cazares on guitar. The first release is simply a decent attempt at emulating his style, and the second is widely considered to be a near disaster. Then there is the Arkaea release – an album that would have sunk Fear Factory to new lows if it had actually been issued with the band’s name. These facts alone are probably enough to prove that Christian should never write another riff for the band again, but there is still one more piece of evidence left to evaluate: Mechanize.

It turns out that even more than the underwhelming Arkaea release, this album proves that the name belongs with Dino and Burton. These two, along with Gene Hoglan and Byron Stroud, have released the album that most Fear Factory fans have been clamoring for since Digimortal. Mechanize is an album full of rapid-fire riffs, harsh shouts, clean singing, precision percussion and industrial flourishes all wrapped in a cold, mechanized production courtesy of Rhys Fulber (Front Line Assembly, Paradise Lost). More importantly, it’s an album that doesn’t contain the nu metal influence, crappy cover songs (how do you mess up Killing Joke???) or blatant attempts to reach the mainstream – an album that could sit comfortably among the band’s first three releases, but with better songwriting than any of them. In a nutshell, it’s everything that the band has been unwilling or unable to do since Dino was removed.

Despite all of the nods to the band’s glory days, Mechanize is more than just an attempt to relive the past, though. This effort to expand their sound (however slight) is mainly apparent in the increased role of the electronics. From the piano section at the beginning of “Christploitation” to the faint synth melodies that run beneath most of the riffs, it’s obvious that Rhys Fulber was given a lot of room to work. Dino Cazares has also expanded his repertoire by occasionally changing things up with quick leads or a slightly thrashy riff – although these are generally fleeting moments and nothing new if you’ve heard his other band, Divine Heresy. More so than what the band chose to include and exclude, the most astonishing thing about the album is the level of conviction that runs through it. Vocalist Burton C. Bell has delivered one of the most visceral vocal performances of his career. He sounds positively pissed off on every track, and his clean vocals are powerful and tastefully done. On the musical side, drummer Gene Hoglan delivers a more forceful and aggressive performance than Raymond Herrera ever seemed capable of, and the riffs are some of the most aggressive and heavy of the band’s career.

Despite all of the things Raymond and Christian have done to prove that they probably shouldn’t be allowed to retain the Fear Factory name, it turns out that the biggest reason has come from Dino and Burton. Quite simply, Mechanize corrects all of the band’s past missteps including those made prior to Dino’s departure. It is a collection of everything that made them great without any of the extraneous influences that came later. Mechanize is heavy rhythmic riffs locked in with double bass, violent shouts and powerful clean singing, industrialized effects, and strong songwriting. It’s the sound of a band reinvigorated – a band ready to prove to fans that they’re back and ready to push the Fear Factory name to levels that it hasn’t occupied in years. Sorry Christian and Raymond – with Mechanize the fans have won, but that also means that you both lose.



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user ratings (583)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • dismember55 (4.5)
    The gears of the machine turning once again....

    Garrett Will (3.5)
    Mechanize is a necessary rejuvenation, a re-alignment of the band's substance, that succee...

    Sean (4)
    A surprising comeback from a band that many thought were dead and gone, "Mechanize" stands...

    Jurgen Prochnow (4)
    "Mechanize" might not be a return to form, but the boys of Fear Factory make their triumph...

  • Jeremy Bentham (4)
    Burton and Dino from a ‘new’ Fear Factory and give us an album that resurrects their o...

    Deviant STAFF (3.5)
    The soul of this machine has improved...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
January 29th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my first review in just about two months. It feels a bit rough... it was definitely rough to write.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Ponton
Emeritus
January 29th 2010



5784 Comments


Nothing to worry about - it reads fine. Awesome.

shortz
January 29th 2010



201 Comments


I liked it. I downloaded this album and couldn't get through the first few tracks (but oddly enough I enjoy Divine Heresy haha) but your review has persuaded me to give it another try. (Though this is the first release I heard from them)

If I could pos, I would (but seeing as you're a staff reviewer, I guess you don't really need those eh? Haha)

Willie
Moderator
January 29th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. It just feels rough to me. Anyway, definitely give this a full play through. It's definitely not Divine Heresy with a different vocalist (again), but there are enough similarities that it should appeal to you.

Powerban
January 29th 2010



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This album > Divine Heresy.

Willie
Moderator
January 29th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely.

Powerban
January 29th 2010



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I honestly think this should be in best new music. It will be in my top 5 metal releases this year I'm certain.

Willie
Moderator
January 29th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not likely. Last time I checked Best New Music required favorable ratings from 2 (maybe 3) staff members, so it'll probably never happen.

Which explains the majority of what you find in that section ;)

Ponton
Emeritus
January 29th 2010



5784 Comments


Also think the new Four Tet album should be there too, personally. I've yet to hear this.

shortz
January 29th 2010



201 Comments


Well then I shall take into account Tyrone and the crazy bearded man's suggestions.

Time to make more room on the ipod.

Powerban
January 29th 2010



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

If you find it hard to get into, Listen to Fear Campaign, Christploitation, Mechanize and Final Exit a few times over. The rest will come soon after.

shortz
January 29th 2010



201 Comments


Cool, thank you Powerban.

BassDemon333
January 30th 2010



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Review is awesome. Best FF album in years.

Powerban
January 30th 2010



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Final Exit may even beat Ressurection which is no mean feat. The "Goodbye" repeated over and over again is such a perfect definition of how ethereal Burton's vocals can be.

BassDemon333
January 30th 2010



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I agree, and both tracks are a perfect example of his incredible range.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2010



30873 Comments


How many more reviews you reckon will pop up for this?

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

bloc
January 30th 2010



34669 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not many more

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Powerban
January 30th 2010



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I was actually gonna review this. I had what I was going to say planned in my head. I would of only said a couple of things that haven't been said so I'm just concentrating on reviewing Rodan now.

You guys did a better job then I would anyway. I rush my reviews too much. I'm gonna give my next one a few days to write instead of the 15 minutes I have given everything else so far.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2010



30873 Comments


I rush my reviews too much


A month for mine lol

fromtheinside
January 30th 2010



17714 Comments


THE DRUMS!!!

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails



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