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Fear Factory: Mechanize

16/07/10  ||  InquisitorGeneralis

The bickering in the Fear Factory family in recent years has gotten painful and reminiscent of the teenage girls I deal with on a daily basis at my day job teaching the youths here in Baltimore, USA. I’ve had students get into fights over who’s a better rapper, Young Buck or Little Wayne? I’ve seen two girls end up in a puddle of blood and torn hair extensions over a bag of Lays Potato Chips… the baked ones even. During another all-girl slapfest I got a high-heel kicked hard into the nuts. I’ve been whacked in the sack literally and figuratively my whole life by women. What it all comes down to is that I am sick of fucking drama at my job, in my life, and in my metal. In case you didn’t know… or probably don’t care, here is a breakdown of Fear Factory’s near decade long dramafest:

After the dud that is “Digimortal” Dino has one two many moon pies and quits the band and it seems that the major beef was between him and vocalist Burton C. Ballsack. Burton’s vagina gets weepy and he throws in the towel too to focus on his ambient, experimental, and shitty side project Ascension of the Watchers. True story, a hot, illegal Hungarian metalhead chick whom I met via Teh Internets told me she could not get into a relationship with me because she was in love with the other dude in that band. Fuck you Assraping of the Weight-Watchers. Anyway, no Dino, no Burton, no Fear Factory…

and then…

Burton reunites with drummer Ray Herrera and bassist turned guitar player Christian “Vanilla Ice” Wolbers. They snag bassist Byron Stroud of Strapping Young Lad and numerous Bigfoot videos fame and release “Archetype”: a solid record that gets the band back on good terms with metalheads the world over. Dine meanwhile releases Mexicore with Asesino and forms a shit metalcore band Called Divine Heresy while continuing his moon pie assault and giving zero indication that he ever wants to rock out with his Fear Factory cock out ever gain. Nice work guys, follow-up “Archetype” with another good album and it is back to headlining status for sure…

but wait…

Fear Factory 2.0 goes right back to the shitter with the awful “Transgression” which is a stinking mix of industrial and just plain bad metal: popularity fizzles, Burton quits again. Dino is still eating moon pies and making bad metalcore with Divine Heresy. Ray and Christian team up with the vocalist from Threat Signal who sucks donkey dick and form a shitty metalcore band named Arkea… see a pattern here? One again, due to labor issues and poor output the Fear Factory closes its door yet again…

Hold up… hey hey, smoke weed everyday!

Out of nowhere Burton and Dino make friends…probably over a bottle of Pinot Grigio and some moon pies, pick up Bigfoot to keep on slapping the bass, and hook the big fish of percussion Gene Hoglan to fill in for Ray. Fuck, he’s probably the only drummer in the world who can. Christian and Ray say go fuck yerself and Fear Factory 3.0 release “Mechanize”. Whew, that was a lot. I need a moon pie…

It is obvious that Burton and the gang are trying to make up for the disaster that was “Transgression” There is tons of pummeling, heavy sections on here and thank Satan in Hell there is nothing like “Timelessness”. However, nothing on here gives me a raging boner like older classics like “Self bias resistor”, “Scumgrief”, and “Securitron” still do. But, for the most part the tunes are heavy and well-done.
Hoglan kicks ass and certainly brings more of a thrash flair to the band. Still, I would still rather have Ray behind the kit, even though he did massively underperform on “Transgression”. But, if you are going to have to have a fill in drummer, arguably the greatest one in the history of metal is not a bad fucken choice! Gene really does tear shit up through out “Mechanize” with heaping amounts of precision, machine gun double bass and tempo changes. His performance, and the band’s in general, might even be a bit too polished and machine-like. No denying though, literally and figuratively the man is a beast.

The major flaw with most of “Mechanize” is that the songs lack those signature breakdowns and sections that would elevate them to killer status. I am talking about sections like the middle and ending of “Self bias resistor”, the refrains of “Martyr” and the megachorus of “Shock”. Songs like “Industrial discipline” and “Controlled demolition” are pretty good but lack that one killer part to make them awesome. Even the easier songs on here like “Oxidizer” (doesn’t that help get rid of pimples?) and “Designing the enemy” are enjoyable so that is one for the plus column. Also in said column is the very good production and, unbelievably, Burton’s vocals don’t suck… even the clean parts. Dino even seems to have grown up a bit and tosses in a few interesting leads to go along with the expected power chord assault. He even plays a solo on “Fear campaign”. Looks like you can teach an old dog a new trick. Don’t expect to go play Frisbee with him though.

Let’s state the obvious one more fucken time: obviously it would be tits if the original four Fear Factory workers could stop being little cunts and get back together. Let’s call this problem Sepulturaitis and say it applies to once influential bands that need to get over themselves, get back what made them awesome in the first place, and get back to plain old asswhuppin’. However, if this is the best Fear Factory we can have at the moment I must admit it isn’t bad and “Mechanize” is a pretty good album. It is not even close to the first two Face Fuckery albums but nothing by anyone really is. Taken on its own “Mechanize” is a surprisingly good record and if you were are fan of Fear Factory it is definitely worth getting your greasy, moon pie-covered fingers on.

7

  • Information
  • Released: 2010
  • Label: AFM/Candlelight
  • Website: www.fearfactorymusic.com
  • Band
  • Burton C. Bell: vocals
  • Dino Cazares: guitars
  • Byron Stroud: bass
  • Gene Hoglan: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Mechanize
  • 02. Industrial Discipline
  • 03. Fear Campaign
  • 04. Powershifter
  • 05. Christploitation
  • 06. Oxidizer
  • 07. Controlled Demolition
  • 08. Designing the Enemy
  • 09. Metallic Division
  • 10. Final Exit