Although not a huge fan of industrial metal, this is a band I've always made a huge exception for. Fear Factory has always been a favourite of mine and this certainly is their greatest achievement. With its memorable songs and unique sound (at the time) it really deserves the praise of "classic".
Demanufacture was a highly significant release back in '95. It broke Fear Factory to a wider audience and established them as one of the leading groups in the newly developing alternative metal genre. Fear Factory represented the more industrial influenced end of the genre, but at their heart, Fear Factory was always tilted much more towards the metallic end of the genre. On this album, the band's sound reached full maturity, with the grind influences drifting largely out the equation. The cold, industrial atmosphere perfectly complements Burton's clean vocals. That the rest of the band is generally locked into a mechanically precise groove helps to ram home the album's bleakness. This isn't to say that the disc lacks passion, as Bell's literally larynx-shredding performance (he blew his voice out on the supporting tour) is the most intense of his career. Demanufactre is a landmark of 90s metal, even if time has removed a little of the sheen from the machine's artifice.
For the first half of the album's runtime, Demanufacture seems to be heading right down the classic route. Incorporating speed and intensity offset by just enough calmer points without compromising the core sound and quality. However, come the cover for "Dog Day Sunrise," things slow down with far less interesting moments present; most of which are confined to one superb track. And though the album closes with a smooth transition, the length of "A Therapy for Pain" coupled with the album's longer overall runtime leaves it feeling a bit dragged out. Regardless, Demanufacture is a fine example of industrial metal that effortlessly puts countless other bands to shame (especially those in different genres which have obviously taken inspiration).