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Fear Factory: ConcreteFear Factory: Concrete

02/02/09  ||  Daemonomania

If you like Fear Factory post 1998, stay the hell away from this mean motherfucker. This is the band at their most raw and most death metal. Way back when Burton C. Bell perhaps wasn’t so sure if he should do many clean vocals (hint: no) and Dino perhaps still weighed 120 pounds dripping wet.

“Concrete” is the real debut album of the Angelino’s future-obsessed industrial machine. There’s a long story about why it didn’t come out until 2002 – problems with a record deal, court battles over song rights vs. album rights, shameless producers, horse clitoris burgers, and Blackie Lawless’ hatred of Obama. So as a result a lot of these songs were rerecorded for “Soul of a new machine” and a couple of other FF releases over the years. We all know that they were slowly slipping into a bucket of candy at the bottom of a waterslide in the middle of a mall. However, there’s nothing sugary, sweet, or nu about the proceedings here. The production is like a bad boob job – kinda nasty but still intriguing. In fact, without it the album would lose a lot of its attitude.

So on to the contents. Shit opens up with a vicious monologue about how often rape and murder takes place here in the U.S. of A, but that was many years ago and I’m sure we’re managed to top these numbers now. America, fuck yeah! Then the echoing, massive beginning of “Big god, raped souls” descends upon you. Real-deal low growls and pain await thee. From there, the album goes from one great tune to the next, with a lag in the middle as you start to get too tired of FF’s driving, mechanical beatdown. “Arise above oppression” is fukkin cool, “Crisis” has an amazingly GOOD incorporation of clean vocals, “Escape confusion” is fast and frenetic, and “Self Immolation” gets stuck in your head right away. Good samples, good songwriting, just all-around pleasing.

So if you derive pleasure from somewhat gritty, hard-hitting, industrially influenced death metal with a hint of clean vocals (try to block from your mind the fact that shit like this gave rise to the horrific abuse of clean and evoool singing that is crapped all over a huge portion of today’s “metal”) – pick this up. You never knew that Fear Factory could be so badass.

7.5 “their first album was the best man and then they sold out dude” out of 10.

  • Information
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: Roadrunner
  • Website: www.fearfactory.com
  • Band
  • Burton C. Bell: vocals
  • Dino Cazares: guitars, bass
  • Raymond Herrera: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Big God / Raped Souls
  • 02. Arise Above Repression
  • 03. Concrete
  • 04. Crisis
  • 05. Escape Confusion
  • 06. Sangre de Niños
  • 07. Soulwomb
  • 08. Echoes of Innocence
  • 09. Dragged Down by the Weight of Existence
  • 10. Deception
  • 11. Desecrate
  • 12. Suffer Age
  • 13. Anxiety
  • 14. Self Immolation
  • 15. Piss Christ
  • 16. Ulceration