June 6, 2012

Steff Metal reviews: Fear Factory, “The Industrialist”

Brutal Tunes



The Industrialist is the second Fear Factory album written by Burton C Bell and Dino Cazares following their reunion in 2007. The last album, Mechanise, received mostly rave reviews, with commentors wondering if it was a bit of a cash in on the Cazares/Bell combo. This album blows that theory out of the water and pisses all over it. With The Industrialist, we have a real Fear Factory album – potent, furious and unrelentingly heavy.

The Industrialist is a concept album, following the narrative arc of a story written by Bell. When asked to explain the story, Bell says, “the protagonist (The Industrialist) is the incarnation of all industries in the form of an automaton. The mechanical, technological, and scientific advances through the industrial age led to the creation of ‘The Industrialist.’ In the story, the automaton becomes sentient as it collects memories with each passing day. Through observation and learning, it gains the will to exist. What was meant to help man, will eventually be man’s demise.”

The whole album sounds like it was made within the bowels of some horrendous machine. Pounding, hissing and other industrial sound effects are used to heighten the sense of time – of this album being lifted from a past more primal than our own. Now a two-some, (Cazares programming the drums and producer Ryhs Fulber on keyboards and samples), you can hear the stripped-down quality of the music. Songs like “Depraved Mind Murder” and the first single “Recharger” could’ve come straight of Demaunfacture, and we all know that’s just what we wanted to hear out of these two.

If I had one complaint, it is that the closing two tracks – “Religion is Flawed because Man is Flawed” and “Human Augmentation”, which are more ambient in nature and actually quite terrifying with their whispered vocals and ghostly echoes of industrial decay, should perhaps have been separated, as they seemed like they would’ve been more effective between the more intense songs on the album. Otherwise, The Industrialist presents song after song of relentless industrial death metal in the signature style of the band who first coined the phrase. Fans of Fear Factory will not be disappointed – unless you liked Transgression, in which case, you’re not really entitled to an opinion.

This week AOL music is streaming The Industrialist in it’s entirety, so I recommend checking it out. Find out more on the Official Fear Factory website or the Fear Factory Facebook page. Fear Factory are currently touring in Europe, and will be commencing a North American tour in June. Here’s hoping they might make it down our way.

7/06/2012 Studio Seven – Seattle, WA [TICKETS]
7/07/2012 Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC [TICKETS]
7/09/2012 The Republik – Calgary, AB [TICKETS]
7/11/2012 Pyramid Cabaret – Winnipeg, MB [TICKETS]
7/12/2012 Station 4 – St Paul, MN [TICKETS]
7/13/2012 The Rave – Milwaukee, WI [TICKETS]
7/14/2012 Kool House – Toronto, ON [TICKETS]
7/15/2012 The Armouries – Windsor, ON [TICKETS]
7/17/2012 Imperial Theater – Quebec City, QC [TICKETS]
7/18/2012 Le National – Montreal, QC [TICKETS]
7/20/2012 Northern Lights – Clifton Park, NY [TICKETS]
7/21/2012 Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NY [TICKETS]
7/22/2012 Reverb – Reading, PA [TICKETS]
7/24/2012 Revolution – Amityville, NY [TICKETS]
7/25/2012 Palladium – Worcester, MA [TICKETS]
7/26/2012 Empire – West Springfield, VA [TICKETS]
7/27/2012 Alrosa Villa – Columbus, OH [TICKETS]
7/28/2012 Mojoe’s – Joliet, IL [TICKETS]
7/29/2012 Tebala Shrine – Rockford, IL [TICKETS]

7/31/2012 Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO [TICKETS]
8/02/2012 Nakai Hall – Window Rock, AZ [TICKETS]
8/03/2012 The Marqee Theater – Tempe, AZ [TICKETS]
8/04/2012 House Of Blues – Hollywood, CA [TICKETS]