I was introduced to Fear Factory by a friend, who got me into metal with their debut album ‘Soul of a New Machine’; I sure wasn’t prepared for the sensory assault that proceeded. They’re the first band, hailing from Los Angeles, CA, that introduced industrial metal, with bands like Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Tool to follow. On this latest CD, ‘Genexus’ they still prove that they can rock. I felt like I was listening to ‘Demanufacture’ (1995). So, sit back and prepare for a metal sensory overload. Their theme’s on most of their music has been against government corruption and freedom to choose how to live your life free of the ‘system’ (government).
Autonomous Combat: you know when the main riff kicks in that you’re in for a hell of a ride. Thrashing from beginning to the end, it’s reminiscent of a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of a maniac! Rolling, thundering drums keep up the momentum. The lyrics remind me of a person who’s enlisted in the Marine Corps. Very fast paced and mosh pit worthy thrash going on here.
Anodized: the hooks are very machine sounding with a chugging riff throughout. Hooks and bridges are catchy and Burton sings clean vocals every time he says ‘Anodized’.
Dielectric: Very cool keyboard opening but, afterwards, the chaos of this song pursues, which will have you head banging until the end, or wanting to jump into the mosh pit. They are back in great form with this CD, I’ve been waiting for them to put out such an album like this since 1995, all the other album’s in between didn’t grab me as much as this one.
Soul Hacker: has got great guitar riffs on it thanks to ‘Dino Cazares’ ripping it on this album. You’ll think you’re in the middle of a Terminator film, which always seemed to be the underlying theme in most of their music, next to samples they used from T2 Judgment Day on 1995’s ‘Demanufacture’ CD, and dystopian future which seems to be an underlying theme.
Promotech: is fast; the guitars are driving home the intensity and the drums are very much machine gun like as you’d expect from these guy’s. The lyrics in this one seem to point at being turned into a machine forcibly against your will.
Genexus: Great drum intro, then the rest of the track cranks it up in speed and intensity. The guitars on this track are great, as is the bass guitar. Lyrics seem to point at him being a slave to something. Towards the end of the song when they turn down all the instruments is really cool.
Church of Execution: I like this song a lot, it has a chugging solo bass riff where guitars are turned down and then the other instruments kick in. This one’s a steady belting tune. The bass is pretty rich sounding on this track. I’m guessing they hate church and religion on this song as reflected in the lyrics.
Regenerate: this one reminds me of ‘Piss christ’ on the ‘Demanufacture’ CD; great soaring, heavy riffs. The drums are always spot on and the timing is perfection. Burton C. Bells vocals are a mix of growling and clean vocals, which is one of my favorite things about this band. In this song it seems he’s talking about being renewed, great lyrics and thought provoking.
Battle for Utopia: Another great thrash oriented song that will surely have you banging your damn head. The guitars are very heavy on this song too, as the drums prepare you for ‘metal’ war. This song will surely kick people’s ass if they’re in the pit. I think in this song he’s driving the point of being judged by other’s without any evidence and he’ll rise above it all.
Expiration Date: This song is mostly keyboard with pounding drums driving it, but it’s a beautiful song and a great way to close out the CD. I love the keyboards and Burton’s clean vocals are great as always. Love this song, it sounds eerie towards the end but also very mechanical.
Fear Factory has gone through many changes since their inception in 1989, from industrial/death/groove to thrash metal. But don’t miss picking up this album. Genexus is a perfect mix of all their styles which are executed with precision.
Good song structures with lyrics that make you think about your life and who controls you in this mad world. Burton C. Bells vocal performance is the best to date. He still delivers clean vocals with the growls that he’s known for.
The production on this album is very heavy, so prepare to have your eardrums blown off if you have a good stereo. The closing track ‘Expiration Date’ is a perfect slow paced close to a CD that will have your adrenaline pumping throughout. Let’s hope they continue in this direction because they do it for the love of us fans. The album is out everywhere worldwide as of August 7, 2015 and they will be touring for it soon towards the end of August or early September.
Check them out live if they come your way, it’s a show you won’t want to miss.
Words by Derek Roberts “The Professor”
Autonomous Combat System
Church Of Execution