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
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.
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.