Review Summary: As a first time review for this 21 year old album, I give it my utmost respect. I've listened to Fear Factory since 2009, death metal lover since 1997, but this album on its second listen as one of the biggest Fear Factory fans - shines through.
Fear Factory is definitely one of the most beloved death metal / industrial metal bands of all-time (note that this review doesn't say best of both, but they are the best of the combination). Ironically, aside from this album and Demanufacture - most of their work isn't even a combination of most of it. They usually either deviate more one way or the other. Obsolete is the sign of their slow transition into a lighter scene. Even though most of their work after Demanufacture is not only extremely heavy and catchy, their catchiest and heaviest parts still somehow don't compare to their first two albums. Upon the first glance at this album, most people will know from reviews to simply look onto Demanufacture for a more refined version of this album. While this is most certainly true, Soul of a New Machine has something else to offer.
Soul of a New Machine is not only heavier than Demanufacture, but it is in fact more raw. Don't misunderstand this review, however, Demanufacture is of course more superior to this album. The song writing and production are both definitely superior. However, this album isn't just more raw from a production standpoint - it is as well more raw from a musical standpoint. Soul of a New Machine is often forgotten as being released in 1992. Out of all the years of metal, we all most certainly remember 1991. This album was after Human
and Unquestionable Presence
by Atheist - just to name a few. Of course those bands are of different genre's, but one should also note this was much, much heavier than anything previously released.
When Soul of a New Machine came out in 1992, there was nothing like it. Martyr remains to this day, the first song to include the unique style of Burton C. Bell - Fear Factory vocalist on every album since this one (their first). Not only is this album a milestone of accomplishments, but upon increased listens - one can easily see why this album deserves a little more praise. Not one single album, ever before, contains any of the riffage and drumming styles that show on this album. The triplet feel, similar to the verse of Self-Bias Resistor of the Demanufacture album originated here. No other band did this before 1992, and nobody did it better than Fear Factory.
This review doesn't advocate more praise than this album deserves, but this album is by FAR superior to anything else even close to the time (within the style of course).