Fear Factory

Liquid 8 Records & Entertainment, 2004

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


According to an interview with Fear Factory lead vocalist Burton C. Bell, "basically all the songs on Archetype describe trying to get off a label [Roadrunner Records] and my feelings toward that." With that in mind, consider the following lyrics from this release:

Track 01 "Slave Labor" - "I need to drown in flames to be free/ help me pour this gas on me" Track 02 "Cyberwaste: - "Nothing you say matters to us! . . . spit your worthless point of view, a cog in the machine" Track 03: "Act of God" - "And now your life amounts to nothing . . ."my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I could go on. Instead, you should form your own opinion.

Fear Factory have been around since August 25, 1992, when Soul Of A New Machine was released on the public. Perhaps it wasn't until 1999, when Fear Factory was on the 1999 Ozzfest Tour, along with Static-X and Slipnkot that more mainstream fans caught on to the band's style of relentless speed and precise music. Precise is the correct adjective for "Drones" which begins with a tight guitar/double-bass pattern with haunting keyboards in the background. Bell's vocal range is put to good use when he hits the higher notes on this track.

The biggest change with the band is that former bassist Christian Olde Wolbers is now the band's guitarist. His riffs are equally brutal as the guitarist he replaced and the band has welcomed bassist Byron Stroud into the group as the low frequency man. This change to the band is nearly transparent. As a longtime member of the band, Wolbers' riffs don't differ a lot in structure from previous Fear Factory efforts.

A review of this CD cannot be complete without referring to the machine gun efforts of drummer Raymond Herrera. Quick double-bass riffs that mimic the guitar parts are just one of the highlights of this drummer's style.

The final track "School" is the least dense musically and lyrically on the CD and serves as a final crushing blow. The lyrics are simple (complete lyrics are: "Won't you believe it / It's just my luck [x4] / No recess [x3] / Won't you believe it / It's just my luck [x4] / No recess [x3] / You're in high school again [x7] / You're nothing again! / No recess [x7]") and the guitar riff is simple. After the earlier tracks of precise double bass and guitar interaction, this song sounds . . . well . . . human. Like they set up their instruments and started jamming.

Overall, Fear Factory is still and probably always will be a force to be reckoned with in the modern age of heavy metal. There's no power ballads, there's no "radio-friendly" material, just aggressiveness that I found very appealing. This is one of the metal CDs that will find its way to many "best of" lists for 2004.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2004 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Liquid 8 Records & Entertainment, and is used for informational purposes only.