Review Summary: Call it a comeback.3 of 7 thought this review was well written
It would be fair to say that Fear Factory are a rather unique outfit. From Gene Hoglan's storming double bass drumming to Dino's frantic riff patterns, Fear Factory certainly had no trouble in gaining recognition rather quickly through their debut 'Soul of a New Machine'. That is not to say, however, that Fear Factory's music is completely unique as many other bands utilize the same 'brand' of metal to equal effect (Machine Head, for example.) Having said this, there is something about Fear Factory's sound that is hugely refreshing and unique in its own right.
With their 2005 release, 'Transgression', FF seemed off the pace, so to speak. The album as a whole was rather bland and was certainly a disappointing follow up to their previous LP 'Archetype'. So, does Mechanize revitalise FF's most adored and interesting sound and succeed where 'Transgression' failed? The answer is a resounding yes...and more.
The album opens with the title track 'Mechanize'. Straight away, you can here FF's industrial roots coming through once again wiht the glitchy opening leading into a trademark Dino guitar riff. Although the song may sound quite 'run of the mill' at first, the song is a hugely refreshing and a refined piece of work when listening to the album as a whole. The two lead singles off of this LP, 'Fear Campaign' and 'Powershifter' are probably two of the strongest tracks on the album. They are both equally unrelenting and showcase Dino's and Hoglan's talents to the full. As for the vocals on this LP, they are pretty much what you would expect from Burton: simple yet solid. His most impressive delivery on Mechanize is definitely on the previously mentioned track 'Fear Campaign'. After the initial intro of the track, Burton releases a psychotic and 'ballsy' scream which sets up the track perfectly. Other tracks such as 'Oxidizer' and 'Controlled Demolition' are just so damn catchy that they are just impossible not to enjoy. The main thing that makes Mechanize so enjoyable is the fact that every band memeber is on the top their game. Hoglan's drumming mixed with Dino's forceful riffs is a match made in heaven and Burton's vocals only add to the frantic atmosphere that is present throughout the album. This LP is definitely one that old and new FF fans will be smiling at all the way through as it is probably the most focused effort the band has produced since 'Obsolete'.
Therefore, is Mechanize a welcome return for FF? You sure bet it is. The entire LP flows perfectly and paints a solid picture of insdustrial chaos which the band has not encapsulated since 'Obsolete'. It is now very interesting to see where FF will go from here, with 'The Industrialist' being released in a matter of weeks, could the album go one step further and top Mechanize? It would be a very diffucult and hopeful task to accomplish.