Review Summary: Fear Factory showed they could still pull it off with Mechanize, but with this album they set out to tackle their roots once again.
During the past two decades, Fear Factory
has shown that they aren't afraid to change their sound. Their first two albums symbolize such, where you have the aggressive, yet chaotic industrial metal effort called Soul Of A New Machine
that leads into the critically acclaimed Demanufacture
with its crystal clear production and pioneering fusion of angry, throaty metal vocals and melodic, clean passages with climactic effect. And now, with The Industrialist
it became apparent that after their successes with Mechanize
guitarist Dino Cazares and vocalist Burton C. Bell wished to have a full on return to their roots as opposed to their last effort, Mechanize
, which sounded more like another of Dino's side projects except with Burton at the helm.
The first track and title track for the album is a monster where Burton sounds as angry as he ever has, but at times, along with most of this album, his vocals and lyrical execution sound forced. Then once you hit the third track, New Messiah
, things calm down and start sounding more like the Fear Factory many fans have come to love. With the same face melting riffs that we've heard from Dino for the past two decades, and more beautiful, harmony filled chorus'. However, due to the strict song structure and riff writing, most of these songs would run together and sound like one big song if it weren't for the excellent and perfectly placed synthesizers and other effects. This album is as true of an industrial metal record as anything they've released in the past fifteen years. They've now shown us that Mechanize
wasn't just something to fill seats and gain new fans, but proof that success still lies within their veins.
isn't very easy to swallow on the first few listens though, and unlike their previous successes,Demanufacture
, catching on to the songs' chorus lines and heavy fills isn't as easy as one should suspect when you throw Dino and Burton into the picture. But most certainly, after you take time to listen to this album, it will begin to settle in that it isn't just another record released solely to make money, but to win back some of their fan-base that was previously lost during the Digimortal
era. The only thing aside from the two average songs Difference Engine
and last two tracks, of which are merely instrumental rehashes of effects and synthesizers used throughout the album which were confusingly split into two tracks, is the fact that this album is overproduced.
If you look at previous Fear Factory efforts, exception being Transgression
, the production is a severe downgrade. The snare is too loud, the bass drum kicks are two low and soft (not to mention they're programmed drums, so during parts of Recharger
and God Eater
the kicks and snare sound absolutely horrendous) and the bass guitar / cymbals are barely audible at all. In the end, it turns out that Fear Factory was a little too eager to release an album. They should've waited until Mike Keller was able to record actually drums, and Matt DeVries could rightfully get his chance to add his basslines into the mix. Though, nobody can really blame their eagerness to release such an impressive record from a band that has been chugging for nearly twenty years, through thick and thin, and still manage to capture part of their glory days.
Excellent vocal deliverance.
Superb riff writing and execution.
The best synthesizer / effects work the band has ever done.
Virus of Faith
Depraved Mind Murder