FEAR FACTORY – THE INDUSTRIALIST

Out now on AFM Records

Fear Factory, perhaps not what you normally would expect to see at virtuosity one but dig behind the industrial elements and focus on the musicianship and you’ll hear a band with more to offer than may initially meet the eye (or ear).  Certainly more than I gave them the time of day for first time round in the 1990’s.

The band are now often considered founding fathers of elements heard frequently in modern extreme metal today – namely the combination between brutal and melodic vocals (if anyone can actually describe Burton C Bell’s vocals as melodic), not to mention the use of intricate syncopated bass drum and guitar patterns which is what I always remember about the band from their initial mid 90’s rise to prominence.

Dino Cazares monolithic guitar riffing is as intense as ever in 2012.  The guy has one of the tightest picking hand rhythm techniques out there and is displayed here over a number of brain crushing tracks, especially ‘Recharger’, ‘New Messiah’, ‘God Eater’ (8 string guitar) and ‘Difference Engine’ being the pick of the bunch.

Granted each track might be difficult to discern from each other on initial plays, but further plays reveal more character to each.

Not for the faint of heart, ‘The Industrialist’ is a demanding listen but when in the right mood is a surprising success.

This hardened cynic admits he is re-evaluating his initial assessment of the band based on this album and may well have to go and checkout the back catalogue with newly grown more appreciative ears.

Rating – 85%

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