Fear Factory: Mechanized and On The Move
There are larger metal bands out there, but few that have the importance of Fear Factory. The style of industrial metal that Fear Factory invented has been the inspiration for many of the world’s major metal bands that came after them. Among the legion of bands that have listed Fear Factory as an influence are Machine Head, Static-X, Coal Chamber, and Disturbed. Fear Factory’s vocalist Burton C. Bell was one of the early pioneers of mixing growls and clean vocals in the same song which now has become the standard. Fear Factory’s legacy is on par with an asteroid strike in the ocean. The effects of those waves are going to be felt for a very long time.
The first time I heard Fear Factory I was working in a cube farm for one of those soul assimilation companies. I remember putting Fear Factory’s second album Demanufacture in the CD player and slapping on the head phones and having a 45 minute HOLY SHIT! moment. I immediately ran over to my buddy’s cube and demanded he listen to the CD. “What does it sound like?” he asked. I remember saying it sounded like a sword fight in a robot factory with amazingly cool guitars and vocals.
“Huh?” (It didn’t make much sense to me either, but that’s how my brain processed this new sound it had just heard.) One listen through and he ran out and bought the CD on his lunch break and has been a fan ever since.
Fear Factory have released 7 albums with millions in sales, toured the world extensively and repeatedly, and Halloween 2010 will be the 20 year anniversary of their first performance. Quite an amazing career but what is even more amazing is that it appears they are just getting started. Fear Factory’s latest CD Mechanize was just released on February 9th, 2010 and in its first week broke into the US top 100. Now besides Mechanize being an amazing CD that is at least on par with the masterworks Demanufacture and Obsolete, and it being 5 years since the previous Fear Factory album Transgression, one of the major factors in the success and sound of Mechanize is the re-uniting of Burton C. Bell and fellow Fear Factory founder the master guitarist Dino Cazares.
I very recently had the absolute honor of interviewing Mr. Cazares and this is what he had to say about the new CD breaking into the top 100 in it’s first week, “First off I just wanted to say that it feels good to be playing with Burton again and to have a CD in the US Top 100 billboard charts is icing on the cake. I never expected it and it feels amazing.”
And on the sound of Mechanize being called a “return to form” by some critics: “It is for sure a return to form. The last two CDs were definitely lacking soul and direction .I’m happy that I came back to my band that I started with Burt to make it right. A year and a half ago Burt approached me on returning to the band that alone was a accomplishment in it self. I never thought I would be back writing songs with him but we were able to move past all the bullshit and get to work. The chemistry between Burt and myself was like we never stopped working with each other. It was like back in the day when we used to share a one bedroom apartment, starving musicians in Hollywood coming up with killer ideas for all our early CDs. All the inspirations were from Burt and myself pushing each other into brainstorming idea after idea and feeding off of (them).”
Filling out the dream team that is the new Fear Factory are legends Byron Stroud on bass and Gene Hoglan on drums. Both of who are such amazing and accomplished players that the live shows should be some for the books.
Fear Factory’s tour schedule for 2010 in support of Mechanize looks to be a complete global blitzkrieg. There are also rumors of the return of Fear Factory to a major metal festival this summer that starts with an “O” but at the time of this writing it can’t be confirmed. 2010 appears to the year of Fear Factory and I personally welcome my new mechanized overlords.