AFM Records (2012)
As metal began its slow descent underground (which will happen again real soon), Fear Factory were breaking all the rules. Disinterested (yet) in nu-metal trend, Fear Factory married hard core and metal with industrial and even techno beats (!) The first three Fear Factory albums belong to favorite records I own, with "Obsolete" as their finest work to date. Subsequent nu-metalish "Digimortal" cooled me down, while "Archetype" minus main axe, Dino Cezares, was their most versatile work to date with some of the best, catchiest riffs I have ever heard, for the first time since the debut, with death metal and blast beats. After atrocious "Transgression" a mere year later, Bell reCezaresed Fear Factory and "Mechanize" crushed balls and force fed them back with both classic and fresh Fear Factory.
With the first single off "The Industrialist", "Recharger", even better things seemed ahead. And indeed, the first 6 songs, although INCREDIBLY derivative of Fear Factory's greatest achievements, are great. "Virus of Faith", echoing "Securitron-Police State 2000" ("Obsolete") is probably the best track on this album, although the significant shortage of Burton's clean melodic croons gave me a pause, as when they appeared they seemed quite a bit forced if not lazy?
And then you hear the soul of "The Machine" sputtering, suddenly out of gas. From track 7 to "Human Augmentation", over 10 minutes of ambient computerized sampling that adds absolutely nothing to the album, "The Industrialist" gives a new meaning to the word "filler". These days, when kids need few, if any reasons, to not buy your music, it is a very foolish move vis-a-vis the cashflow.
Even on the good tracks, "The Industrialist" is ripe with auto plagiarism. "New Messiah" clean chorus is a regurgitated "Undercurrent" ("Archetype") the opener smacks of "Digimortal", "Recharger" melodic line is cut and paste "Descent" from "Obsolete" (or even "Industrial Discipline" from "Mechanize") especially at the end, while "Difference Engine" is "High-Tech Hate" ("Obsolete") less evil twin. Even the dreaded closer -"Demanufacture" or "Ascension" ("Archetype") reloaded.
It's a shame but the album appears rushed and unfinished. "Dissasemble", joined with the following reprise of the same, "Religion is flawed" would have had better appeal and, hell, how about 2-3 kick-ass tracks thereafter and perhaps the "Augmentation", after severe surgery, would have been easier to swallow? And yet there is hope if phenomenal "God Eater" that sounds like a new chapter for FF, is any indication of future direction. In any case, Fear Factory better tread carefully lest the concept from their best album becomes their fate.
Rating: 3.5 / 6
Composed by Dethster4life