Review Summary: Sub-par for Fear Factory and Average for Nu-Metal; Digimortal proved incontestably that Fear Factory was covering songs written by themselves for once.
With Digimortal Fear Factory showed... No, Fear Factory tried... Well, you see they were just... Wait, where was
In 2001, Fear Factory was starting to show some obvious signs of internal decay. Whether it be the physical altercation between vocalist Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares, or a struggle of power from within their system; Digimortal certainly didn't solve the problem - it removed it entirely by dismantling the band (albeit the "alleged" internal disputes & personal desires that "really" caused the band's first breakup).
Digimortal was, and remains to this day, a complete mess that simply proved quite incontestably that Fear Factory wasn't covering Gary Numan or Head of David again - they were covering themselves. From track one up until track eleven, Fear Factory, for the most part, completely removed their unique sound and created an album paradox. Digimortal is Fear Factory, playing songs Fear Factory wrote, as if they were a Nu-Metal band playing Fear Factory songs with Burton C. Bell playing vocalist as if he was held at gunpoint. Within this mess of a sound, Fear Factory manages to break through with a few solid releases. Linchpin, Invisible Wounds (Dark Bodies), and (Memory Imprints) Never End, mark the very few points of the album where Fear Factory actually came to the studio and recorded some songs to be featured on their Nu-Metal cover band's album entitled Digimortal.
No Digimortal review, however, can be without saying that Burton C. Bell cry-throatily screaming "One Step" at the beginning of the title track Digimortal is quite mortifying. Duly noted that this is not in the same way Zero Signal's verses from the album Demanufacture
surely mortified the brains of several Amish farmers as someone sped by their horse and buggy with it blaring on maximum volume at 7 AM in the back-wash of Pennsylvania (definitely not at the hands of this reviewer). Meanwhile, Linchpin is one of the catchiest tunes that Fear Factory has ever released, although easily being manipulated by the pull of the rest of the album, comes off as rather experimentally rudimentary - transitioning well, but confusingly switching from crowd chant-along verses with little backdrop to overly powerful melodic chorus' - something that shines brightly during live performances.
In the grand scheme of music, Digimortal is an average release. Hardcore Fear Factory fans will enjoy various songs on this album, as they suit all sorts of different ears, and even this review must admit that Back The F*** Up, while a poor collaboration, has an eye opening kick-in for the chorus. For anyone looking to purchase a Fear Factory album, pass up on this one. Find the songs on Youtube, and buy what you like from Amazon MP3 / iTunes for $0.99 per song.