Fear Factory – The Industrialist – album review

Fear Factory: The Industrialist (Candlelight Records)
Available 5 June 2012

A solid and exciting return to form from industrial hardcore band Fear Factory with an album of technical rhythms and dystopian power.

Fear Factory were often dismissed by critics as the industrial also-rans, but throughout their career they have garnered a legion of die-hard fans.

With the release of 1992’s ”˜Soul of a New Machine’ they carved out a distinctive niche for themselves with their hybrid of contemporary metal styles combined with a fractured and paranoid futuristic view of the world.Their follow up album ”˜Demanufacture’ (1995) only served to solidify their placement amid the cybernetic hell of their own creation.

Their signature blast beats and assembly line samples combined with the solid, brutal riffs of Dino Cazares were accompanied by the guttural roars of frontman Burton C Bell.

Line-up changes and a lack of direction, combined with changing consumer tastes saw them disappear from the public eye for some time. Their lacklustre albums of the 00’s failing to resonate with an audience who found themselves looking for something more.

2012 sees the return of Fear Factory and with it, their absolute powerhouse of an album ”˜The Industrialist’. Described as somewhat of a concept album by Bell, it has all the hallmarks of their early work delivered in crisp, aggressive glory.

The titular track opens the album with a voiceover describing the destruction of civilisation and the end of humanity as we know it. This sets the scene for the proceedings, which are bleak and desolate, with faith being placed on our own selves to persevere through this damaged environment.

It’s a surprisingly solid offering from what is essentially a Bell and Cazares project. All drums on the album are programmed and while this has seen some fans cry ”˜heresy’, due to the strong affection they feel for departed drummer Raymond Herrera, the outcome is both solid and strong. The technical rhythms only serve to emphasise the dystopian landscape which the duo aim to create.

Many of the criticisms which have been aimed at Fear Factory over the years have chastised them for removing themselves from the sound which they helped to define.

With ”˜The Industrialist’, they have returned with a vengeance, pounding the listener relentlessly with a sound that is both inarguably well-constructed and exciting. This may not only placate any qualms from existing fans, but may also win them some new ones.

More information available on Fear Factory’s website.

All words by Colin McCracken. You can read more from Colin on LTW here, on his website or follow him on Twitter.




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