FEAR FACTORY — Aggression Continuum (review)

FEAR FACTORY — Aggression Continuum album cover Album · 2021 · Industrial Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
UMUR
"Aggression Continuum" is the 10th full-length studio album by US metal act Fear Factory. The album was released through Nuclear Blast in June 2021. It´s the successor to "Genexus" from 2015 and features the same trio lineup, who recorded the predecessor: Dino Cazares (guitars, bass), Burton C. Bell (vocals), and Mike Heller (drums). Much of the album was already recorded in 2017 (including Bell´s vocal parts), but the release of the album was postponed for a number of reasons, including financial and artistic differences and a lawsuit from two former members of the band regarding the ownership of the Fear Factory name. in 2020 Bell had had enough and left the band. Cazares decided that some of the drums should be re-recorded and the tracks should be remixed in 2020-2021 before the album could be released, but other than that the tracks were already recorded in 2017.

"Aggression Continuum" is not an album which will surprise anyone familiar with Fear Factory. In some ways I´d even go as far as calling the album a generic Fear Factory release. All the trademarks of the band´s style are here and accounted for. Angular chugging riffs and rhythms, sci-fi lyrics and atmosphere, Bell´s raw shouting vocals on the song verses and clean vocals on the choruses, futuristic synths, samples, and effects to further emphasize the sci-fi atmosphere. check, check...check. You decide if that´s a good or a bad thing, but in my opinion a little development of sound and a few surprises would have been welcome. This is pretty much the sound of stagnation. High quality stagnation, but stagnation it is...

Not many tracks stand out and the album is a consistent affair, both in terms of style and quality. A few highlights would have lessened the feeling of monotony which sets in about half way through the album, but again there´s nothing on the album which is of sub par quality or which isn´t an instantly enjoyable listen, but the spark and innovation of the early days seem long gone on "Aggression Continuum". Both the musicianship and the sound production are of a high quality, so no complaints there, although Bell´s voice and vocal performance seem to be stuck in the 90s. He hasn´t really evolved much since then and he still sings in about the same register as always and delivers melody lines which are pretty similar to what we´ve heard on preceding releases by the band. So upon conclusion you´ll be treated to more of the same and if you´re content with that then I´m sure you´ll find "Aggression Continuum" another great release by Fear Factory. Me...I´m so old I remember the fire, the passion, and innovation of the early releases, and how they revolutionzed the world of extreme metal, and although there certainly is quality here and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved, this album is Fear Factory by the numbers.
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Tupan wrote:
56 days ago
FF is on automatic pilot at least since Dino returned.
UMUR wrote:
57 days ago
I was huge FF fan, when the first album came out, and I saw them live supporting the album too, which was a great revelation to me in those days, so I still hold especially the first two albums in high regard.
Psydye wrote:
57 days ago
There are definitely better industrial acts around...Red Harvest, for instance! Miles better than these guys, imo.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
58 days ago
I find Fear Factory to be boring in general. I don't get the appeal. I have a couple early albums and they are decent but i never have a desire to go back and listen to them.
UMUR wrote:
58 days ago
Yeah that´s pretty much how I felt too. It bored the shit out of me.
Vim Fuego wrote:
58 days ago
I got bored listening to this. It wasn't bad, but just didn't hold my attention.

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