FEAR FACTORY
Death Metal / Alternative Metal / Industrial Metal • United States

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Fear Factory is an American industrial/groove metal band. The band formed in 1989 and have released seven full-length albums and a number of singles and remixes. Over the course of their career they have evolved from a succession of styles, as well as steadily pioneered a combination of the styles death metal, groove metal, thrash metal and industrial metal. The resultant sound proved to be enormously influential on the metal scene from the mid-90s and onwards. Their most recent album, Transgression, described as a more experimental and atypical effort, has also contained elements of pop music and progressive metal.

Fear Factory disbanded in March 2002 following some internal disputes, but they reformed later that year minus founding member Dino Cazares adding bassist, Byron Stroud, and casting then-bassist Christian Olde Wolbers as guitarist.

The band has toured with the likes of Black Sabbath, Pantera, Iron Maiden, Slayer, System of a Down,
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The IndustrialistThe Industrialist
Limited Edition · Deluxe Edition
Candlelight / Lumberjack 2012
Audio CD$5.21
$5.30 (used)
Complete Roadrunner Collection 1992 - 2001Complete Roadrunner Collection 1992 - 2001
Box set · Import
Roadrunner UK 2013
Audio CD$19.32
$22.06 (used)
DemanufactureDemanufacture
Roadrunner Records 1995
Audio CD$6.48
$0.01 (used)
MechanizeMechanize
Candlelight 2010
Audio CD$6.98
$4.00 (used)
Soul of a New MachineSoul of a New Machine
Remastered · Extra tracks
Roadrunner Records 2004
Audio CD$8.32
$2.49 (used)
DigimortalDigimortal
Roadrunner Records 2001
Audio CD$3.98
$0.01 (used)
ObsoleteObsolete
Extra tracks · Collector's Edition
Roadrunner Records 1999
Audio CD$6.94
$0.75 (used)
ArchetypeArchetype
Liquid 8 2004
Audio CD$24.98
$3.94 (used)
The Best of Fear FactoryThe Best of Fear Factory
Roadrunner Records 2006
Audio CD$4.22
$0.01 (used)
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FEAR FACTORY Discography

FEAR FACTORY albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.20 | 19 ratings
Soul of a New Machine
Death Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 3.81 | 23 ratings
Demanufacture
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.76 | 19 ratings
Obsolete
Death Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.34 | 13 ratings
Digimortal
Alternative Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 2.12 | 4 ratings
Concrete
Death Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.81 | 10 ratings
Archetype
Alternative Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 2.84 | 9 ratings
Transgression
Alternative Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.18 | 12 ratings
Mechanize
Death Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 3.30 | 5 ratings
The Industrialist
Death Metal 2012

FEAR FACTORY EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 3 ratings
Fear Is The Mindkiller
Industrial Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Dog Day Sunrise
Death Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Burn
Death Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Gabber Mixes
Death Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.05 | 2 ratings
Revolution
Death Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Cars
Death Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Linchpin: Special Australian Tour EP 2001
Death Metal 2001

FEAR FACTORY live albums

FEAR FACTORY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

FEAR FACTORY boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 3.29 | 7 ratings
Remanufacture
Industrial Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Hatefiles
Death Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Fear Factory
Death Metal 2006

FEAR FACTORY singles (6)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dog Day Sunrise
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Burn
Death Metal 1997
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Resurrection
Death Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cars
Death Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Linchpin
Death Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bite the Hand That Bleeds
Death Metal 2004

FEAR FACTORY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.75 | 2 ratings
Digital Connectivity
Death Metal 2001

FEAR FACTORY Reviews

FEAR FACTORY Demanufacture

Album · 1995 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
With its centre of gravity in industrial metal but aspects of groove, thrash, death and alternative metal styles informing it, Fear Factory's Demanufacture sees the band display an impressive command of features of a myriad different metal genres. At points the album sounds a little thin to my ears - in particular, the production isn't always favourable to Raymond Herrera's drums - but the variety of material from more simplistic vaguely commercial compositions to deeper and more intense industrial meditations just about manages to sell me on the album. Burton Bell deserves particular props for the sheer range of vocal styles at his command, to the point where he starts to resemble industrial metal's answer to Mike Patton.

FEAR FACTORY The Industrialist

Album · 2012 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"The Industrialist" is the 9th full-length studio album by US death/industrial metal act Fear Factory. The album was released through Candlelight Records in June 2012. The band returned to the scene after a 5 year recording break with the critically acclaimed "Mechanize (2010)". An album that also saw the return of founding member/guitarist Dino Cazares but also the inclusion of bassist Byron Stroud (Strapping Young Lad) and drummer Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Death, Strapping Young Lad...etc.). A strong lineup that recorded a strong album. However on "The Industrialist" the two latter mentioned are already out of the band again and former Chimaira guitarist Matt DeVries has taken over the bass duties. A bit more controversial maybe, the drums on the album are programmed.

If you are familiar with the industrial tinged death/extreme metal style of Fear Factory, "The Industrialist" is not an album that holds many surprises. Compared to it´s predecessor the intensity level is slightly lower and the music is a bit more groove based too. The fact that the drums are programmed is not a major deal really (although I would have prefered a "real" drummer). It gives the album a slightly more metallic/industrial sound, but that´s not really unusual for Fear Factory. All the trademark Fear Factory traits are present on "The Industrialist". Burton C. Bell´s raw semi-growling vocals and his clean vocals too, the heavy precision riffing and rythms and a sci-fi lyrical theme. This time around it´s a concept story.

The album is well produced, the musicianship is solid and the songwriting decent. While there aren´t many highlights on "The Industrialist", there are a couple of standout tracks on the album like "Recharger", "New Messiah" and the closing 9:04 minutes long ambient "Human Augmentation". While the first two mentioned stand out because they are hook laden and memorable the latter stand out because it´s tedious and quite frankly redundant. Had it lasted 2 minutes intstead of 9 it could probably have worked well as an atmospheric outro to the album, but as it is now I´m half asleep before it ends. Despite the album being a bit of a "flat" experience in terms of highlights and my issue with the length of "Human Augmentation", "The Industrialist" still comes off as a quality product with a distinct sound. It might be Fear Factory "by the numbers", but even Fear Factory "by the numbers" is better than most of the competition and I´d say a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) is warranted. I do hope they´ll be helped by a more creative muse the next time around though.

FEAR FACTORY The Industrialist

Album · 2012 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
The Industrialist is Fear Factory’s eighth proper canonical studio album, it is their second album since Dino rejoined the band and their second full-out concept album. It was recorded after a line-up change which saw Gene and Byron from Strapping Young Lad leave the band, to be replaced by Matt DeVries from Chimaira and a drum machine.

Lyrically, the album tells a story something along the lines of: an artificial intelligence is created that learns how to think, how to self-preserve and becomes a messianic figure teaching other robots that humanity is flawed, and then tries to stop the humans from disassembling the robots. Upon first listen the story isn’t as all pervasive as you may expect however, and it could take a decent amount of spins to get to grips with it.

Musically, you should know what to expect if you have heard a lot of Fear Factory material before, especially if you have heard Obsolete and Mechanize.

Sometimes Fear Factory get accused of making the same album all the time, but I think this is rather unfair. They do certainly have a signature sound; every album has Burton mixing low barking vocals with treated melodic singing, every album has a lot of syncopated mechanical sounding double-kick patterns along with similarly rhythmic riffs and most of their albums end with a cleaner, spacier track. Within that signature sound however, they have covered a lot of ground over the years.

Their first album had an more Death Metal and Grindcore influenced style, then they released the classic Demanufacture in 1995 which most people use as the basis for what they think Fear Factory sound like. The concept album Obsolete which followed took that sound in a few different directions and Digimortal simplified it. Then their primary guitarist Dino left and the band released the underrated and varied Archetype in 2004 and followed that up with the much more commercial Transgression, which was poorly received.

The album that The Industrialist most sounds however like is the album which it follows up, 2010’s Mechanize. Mechanize was an album which largely sought to replicate the sound from Demanufacture and saw Dino rejoin the band at the expense of long time members Chirstian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera. Of any two Fear Factory albums in a row, the gap in quality and direction between The Industrialist and Mechanize is the smallest in the band’s career.

Many fans celebrated Mechanize as a return to form, however I have never personally been able to get all that behind it, despite listening to it a lot and giving it a really fair chance to win me over. The biggest thing I had always liked about Fear Factory was Raymond Herrera, and although Gene Hoglan (and now a drum machine) can replicate the general style that Ray played in, they both had a different feel to Ray.

I also feel that although stylistically Mechanize was right on the money, its actual songs were a little too samey and formulaic (a risk you have to take when trying to play your signature sound. It could always pay off as a consistent effort, or backfire as an overly samey effort) and ultimately just felt a little bit hollow to me. Few songs on it made a lasting impression in the same way as the older material was able to. There was nothing discernibly wrong with it but it still didn’t feel like a great record.

The Industrialist falls into this exact situation. Everything about it sounds right, but it doesn’t have any “better than the sum of its parts” magic. The Industrialist is another Fear Factory album, its some more of the same traditionally Fear Factory sounding songs to add to your collection and a few new songs to hear live or on compilations. It is all really well made, well produced and hard to criticize. Burton still sings well on record and the lyrics are actually pretty interesting as well, but despite having everything going for it, I just don’t personally love it. I only think it is OK. I don’t wish it hadn’t been made, but nor would I list it as my new favourtie album.

If you also felt the way that I did about Mechanize, then I would say that The Industrialist is going to make you feel the same way again. It doesn’t raise the bar significantly enough in the songwriting department to make everything memorable and distinct. The tracks are fairly interchangeable excluding the opener and the final two spacey tracks, and it is difficult to choose either highlights or low-points because it is all similar. It is all of the same style, same great quality and same lack of magic. I can absolutely understand how and why people would like it, but I just don’t personally get a buzz off it like I did from some of their other works.

If you personally think Mechanize was brilliant however, then The Industrialist will surely work just as well for you and I recommend that you check it out. Everything that was good about Mechanize is represented here too in fine form, and if you don’t have a mental block on the ‘added magic’ factor then this album is absolutely something you can enjoy.

If you haven’t heard a lot of Fear Factory at all before, it’ll probably stand up really well, as it won’t have to compare to existing Fear Factory material and so can just be enjoyed purely “as is.”

In summary, my recommendation would be that before buying, you should asses how you feel or don’t feel about existing Fear Factory work and then set your expectations accordingly. At the very least you will get some more OK versions of what you like and at the best you may discover your new favourite band.

FEAR FACTORY Transgression

Album · 2005 · Alternative Metal
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Transgression is the 7th ( or 6th if you don´t include Concrete ( 2002) in your count) full-length studio album by US alternative/ industrial/ death metal act Fear Factory. The album was released in August 2005 by Trillion Records. Transgression is produced by Toby Wright who is known for his work with among others Alice In Chains, Korn and Soulfly. The lineup is unchanged since Archetype (2004) which means Burton C. Bell on vocals, Christian Olde Wolbers on guitars, Raymond Herrera on drums and Byron Stroud on bass.

The music on the album is a kind of alternative/ industrial metal with a few nods towards extreme metal. The change from being an industrial death metal act which was already initiated as far back as on Obsolete (1998) is now complete. There´s very little on Transgression besides the occassional aggressive attitude that suggests that Fear Factory were once a death metal act. Burton C. Bell sings both clean and raw vocal styles on the album but both styles are pretty accessible. The harder hittin´ riffing on the album are more akin to NU-metal and alternative chuggin´ metal style riffing than ever before. The songs are generally very simple and accessible. Calling this an adventurous album would be strecthing the definition of that word very far. Now Archetype was an album where the band had to find their feet after principal songwriter and guitarist Dino Cazares left the band and I can forgive some of the weakneses on that album, but on Transgression it´s become too obvious that Dino Cazares was one of the defining pieces of the puzzle, that made the early Fear Factory albums so influential and unique. Christian Olde Wolbers, who shifted from bass to guitars and became the prinicipal songwriter in Fear Factory after Dino Cazares left, simply hasn´t got the same interesting songwriting ideas. Unfortunately this results in a lot of pretty standard tracks that don´t really stand out from each other that much. Out of 11 tracks the band have also opted to include two cover tracks, which in my book is a sign of decline in terms of proving yourself. A sign that the band have run dry of ideas or maybe even worse lost the hunger and passion. Both the U2 cover I Will Follow and the Killing Joke cover Millennium are performed really well and fits well on the album, but I would have prefered to have them placed on an EP or a single and have them replaced by two original tracks instead. This might all sound a bit negative, but there are actually no below standard tracks on the album and in that respect Transgression is a very consistent album.

It´s no surprise that the musicianship on the album is excellent. I would never question the skills in the band. Well... Burton C. Bell isn´t a great singer meassured on skills or perfect pitch, but he has a unique style that´s instantly recognisable. He doesn´t sound very inspired on this album though and again the word standard comes to mind. I´m really searching for that breathtaking moment of bliss that some of the early albums had plenty of, but it never comes.

The production is polished and very professional. Almost too professional to these ears though. I think the sound lacks punch and rawness. Honestly I find it quite soulless. It´s kind of like listening to a pop album where all the focus is on the vocals and the instrumentation is left to hum in the background.

While my personal experience with Transgression hasn´t exactly been rewarding I still think the quality of the release warrants a 3 - 3.5 star rating. If you are a newbie to Fear Factory, it´s probably the last album by the band that I would recommend listening to though. Thankfully they would return with Mechanize (2010) five years later, stronger than ever and with a new lineup.

FEAR FACTORY Digimortal

Album · 2001 · Alternative Metal
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Digimortal is the 4th full-length studio album by American death/ industrial/ alternative metal act Fear Factory. The album was released in April 2001 by Roadrunner Records. The original version of the album contains 11 tracks while there´s a limited digipack version available with 4 bonus tracks. Fear Factory would be heading into some difficult years as founding member guitarist Dino Cazares would leave the band after this release. So Digimortal is the last album to feature what many would probably call the "classic" Fear Factory lineup.

The music on Digimortal continues further down the more groovy alternative metal road that was initiated on Obsolete (1998). The songs are generally vers/ chorus based 3 to 4 minute long tracks with a strong emphasis on brick heavy groovy riffing and the occassional use of futuristic sounding synth effects. There are lots of precise technical playing on display too though and especially drummer Raymond Herrera puts on quite a show. The vocals vary from aggressive to raw to clean. Lead vocalist Burton C. Bell is not as such a great singer, but he understands how to economize his voice and his performance here is strong and personal. The songs are all quality compositions and if you enjoy your music hard hitting and groove based, Digimortal certainly delivers. The alternative metal touch gets an extra nod in the song Back the Fuck Up, which features rap vocals.

The production is clean and professional. Triggered drums and lots of power.

Digimortal is a very succesful album in terms of consistency and powerful delivery, but evaluating the album I´ve come to the conclusion that the album lacks real highlights. All songs are more or less great, but there´s nothing on Digimortal that really stands out as excellent. It´s of course a matter of taste, but I miss some death/ thrash metal parts in the music too. A 3.5 star rating is deserved. Digimortal is a good album, but it doesn´t reach the hights of the first three albums by the band IMO.

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