‘What I thought was life. Came to an end. Born into a world. I never asked for this. I’ve got to get away’ and so on and so on…. These first lines of their ‘Soul Of A New Machine’ album are still carved in my brain. I still find that album (and maybe I’m the only one), the best album of Fear Factory. It was straight in the face, honest and blew me away from the first note till the last. After that they developed the mechanical parts more and became more Industrial.
After their groove album, ‘Obsolete’, their more thrashy album, ‘Mechanize’, and the Industrial ‘The Industrialist’, this new album is perhaps more a mix of all three. Diversity is the key word. A mix of fast songs, semi- fast tracks, epic ballads and groovy ones. On ‘The Industrialist’, Fear Factory worked with a drum machine, but this time, the machine is partly replaced by a real drummer, Mike Heller, can be heard on the album in between the programmed pieces. In “Soul Hacker”, Deen Castronovo takes care of the drums. As bass player, Tony Campos joined the band, but he joined after the album was recorded.
Burton C. Bell varies his clean, serene vocals with his screams and shouts as we are used to from him. If you listen to the entire album it sounds a bit like one long soundtrack – with enough variation not to get boring. This album is a step ahead again after the for me disappointing albums ‘Mechanize’ and ‘The Industrialist’. There are a lot of things that make me think of their other seminal piece, and most other fans’ reference work, ‘Demanufacture’. It is as if Burton and Dino agreed that they should return more to the style of that album. I found out that I needed to listen a few times to the new album to appreciate it more. There are not a lot of new things, but the new album is more a kind of summary of their last albums. It is not their best album to date, but good enough to beat several others.
01. Autonomous Combat System
04. Soul Hacker
07. Church Of Execution
09. Battle For Utopia
10. Expiration Date
Playing time: 47:00
Release date: 7th of August, 2015
Label: Nuclear Blast