Fear Factory
The Industrialist
Style: Cyber Metal
Release date: 1 June, 2012
Playing time: 48:50

Good news for those Fear Factory fans who hailed 2010's 'Mechanize' as the best thing to happen in the world of metal since 'Demanufacture'. 'The Industrialist' continues in the same vein, but I dare say even takes a step further back in the band's own history.

Using the word 'band' when you talk Fear Factory is of course a bit of a misconception these days; Burt and Dino have done the whole thing with Rhys Fulbers as their usual electronic sidekick. Bass duties handled by Dino and drums handled by...Dino! Yes, programmed drums! I winced when I was looking desperately for Gene Hoglan's name in the booklet and found the 'drums programmed by...' remark. But to be honest, I'm fairly impressed with the result. I suppose when you've only worked with drummers who're almost drum machines in their own right, then this should work, shouldn't it?!

Dino has been able to yet again deliver a bunch of riffs which are so clearly him, but he still manages, after all these years, to add bits and pieces that make it sound new and fresh. The melodic semi-clean guitar in Virus of Faith is one example. This is a man who influenced shitloads of guitarists out there, and there is no sign of him stepping down from the throne of industrial metal riffing.

Burton C. Bell has had immense problems reaching the high notes live the past few times I've seen FF live. I reckon this is why there aren't any of those on 'The Industrialist'. There's of course still clean vocal parts - very beautiful ones, even - but they're all held in a range which seems more natural for Burt. Smart decision!

Don't expect songs with the crushing power of e.g. Shock ('Obsolete'), but more in the vein of what you'd find on 'Demanufacture' - try A New Messiah as one of the prime examples of tight, industrialized metal with a beautiful clean vocal chorus.

A constellation band-wise or not, Fear Factory is a factor in metal, also in 2012 and hopefully years ahead, and, yeah, it's nice to see one of those man-against-machine concept albums again, even if it's a tried recipe.

Nice one!

01. The Industrialist
02. Recharger
03. New Messiah
04. God Eater
05. Depraved Mind Murder
06. Virus of Faith
07. Difference Engine
08. Dissemble
09. Religion Is Flawed Because Man Is Flawed
10. Human Augmentation
Label: AFM Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 75/100
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen
Date: 7 June, 2012
Website: www.fearfactory.com