Mechanize review by Fear Factory

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  • Released: Feb 9, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (63 votes)
Fear Factory: Mechanize
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Sound — 9
In 2002, portly guitarist Dino Cazares left Fear Factory. The band briefly broke up, only to reform sans Cazares, with bassist Christian Olde Wolbers taking over on guitar. Fear Factory, arguably one of the most over-achieving, extreme bands in metal, thanks to their cyber metal/industrial blend, released two albums with that lineup, and while Archetype and Transgression were quality albums, they weren't definitive, with the former being a bit more memorable than the latter. With Cazares gone, the band's profile and album sales fell. While that's also indicative of an ever-shifting music industry in the digital age, Fear Factory were not what they once were. Fast-forward to 2010: Olde Wolbers and Herrera, whose ammunition-like drumming is the backbone and hallmark of the band's sound, are out. Cazares is in. Indeed, Mechanize is more like 1998's Obsolete than any of the non-Cazares albums, so his songwriting influence is certainly felt upon his return. It's intense and, well, mechanized, with machine-like riffs that feel like bullets being popped off. It also keeps the Fear Factory tradition of futuristic metal alive; but in 2010, this style isn't quite so 21st century. It does sound a wee bit dated, but if your Fear Factory fandom runs so deep that it reached marrow, then the title track, Fear Campaign' and Christploitation' will remind you of classics like Pisschrist and Edgecrusher. The music manages to have that industrial sound without ever coming across as sterile or too cold. That was always Fear Factory's best trait and it's no different here on Mechanize. It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herrera's almost inhuman drumming is missed.

Lyrics — 7
Burton C. Bell barks with lungs and power that could rival any young turk half his age. He hasn't slowed down with age and it's not like he's struggling and croaking out his words. That could be a result of studio treatment, but he's surely robust. His melodic croon, which helped set Fear Factory about from other extreme bands and lent them an element of accessibility, is still here, as well, although not in as much abundance as his growling. Given the way Cazare's riffs mesh with Bell's singing, it's clear that Fear Factory work better with Cazares in the band than without. The lyrics follow the band's tradition of man vs. machine through and through; the sci-fi bend is still here.

Overall Impression — 8
Bell and Cazares demonstrate that there is still plenty of room left on the Fear Factory hard drive with Mechanize. It would be wonderful and please the fans to have Herrera and Olde Wolbers return to the fold, because imagine what a powerhouse they would or could be if reunited in full. No one is really talking about why Herrera and Olde Wolbers left and Cazares came back and if one caused the other. How that metallic drama unfolds remains to be seen, but if you have never moved on from Fear Factory's sound, which peaked in 1999-2000, then Mechanize will transport you to where you need to be.

47 comments sorted by best / new / date

    webbtje
    It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herreras almost inhuman drumming is missed.
    He was replaced by Gene Hoglan. Gene Hoglan.
    ReiverOfSouls
    DieYouBastard wrote: gene hoglan ****ing rules dino is back where he belongs this is the best metal album since the blackening and the best fear factory album since demanufacture enough said
    If you, sir, were anywhere near me, you'd win a beer for that post.
    DieYouBastard
    gene hoglan ****ing rules dino is back where he belongs this is the best metal album since the blackening and the best fear factory album since demanufacture enough said
    Slaytan666
    I'm a longtime FF fan, and I was very disappointed about Ray 'The Mexecutioner' leaving the band, but when I heard that Gene Holgan was replacing him, I got a boner that lasted all day. I think this album may be their best ever.
    tom183
    Looking forward to this album. I thought the review was pretty good with the exception of this statement:
    but if you have never moved on from Fear Factorys sound, which peaked in 1999-2000,
    Fear Factory were at their best imo in '95 with the release of Demanufacture. I've never heard anyone say that Obsolete is a superior album. As good as Gene is I'd still love to see the original line-up get back together and release another album. By 'oriinal' I, of course, mean 'Demanufacture'.
    masterofmetal85
    To Dieyoubastard: The best metal album after Machine head's the blackening was Testaments: Formation of Damnation and Slayer's World Painted Blood not to far behind
    Steven E
    Christian isn't even an original member, Dino did the bass on the first album. Plus Christian's riffs sound like Dino rip-offs
    cameronmann900
    saw fear factory at big day out a few weeks ago. they played 2/3 new songs. it was amazing. burtons voice is still mint live and seeing gene hoglan on drums was amzing!!!
    Dakkstar
    That is so funny, but I agree.. To play down Gene like that seemed a bit silly. I mean I have compared older Fear Factory and the new, I prefer Gene on the kit. I don't see anything wrong with this lineup. Anyway you made me laugh a lot. Thank you.
    nailsarecruel wrote: Seems like the reviewer's holding out hope to work for Rolling Stone someday. "Yeah, so this really fat guy came back to this band that sounds like a cross between Linkin Park, Black Album Metallica and terminator 2, right? And because of the drama in the band, they replaced their drummer with some guy no one's ever heard of. And OMG the singer croons too when he's not sounding shouty. Think a mix between Rod Stewart and Tony Orlando but even though he's older than I, he's so dreamy. And since like I mentioned they've got a Metallica/Linkin Park/T2 vibe to them, I totally give them an 8. Might have scored higher, but I can't stop thinking about Pink's performance at the Grammys. She was like so totally wet and spinning. Wow"
    GasPipe
    [quotethey replaced their drummer with some guy no one's ever heard of.quote] No ones ever heard of Gene Hoglan? This is "The Atomic Clock" we are talking about, he is a standout drummer and a legend in the metal community. This is an excellent album, great to see FF back in top form.
    RocknRollRay
    I haven't really listened to FF, my first listen was this album and the only reason I checked them out was because of Hoglan. Good music, very heavy, very metal. The only thing that didn't impress me was the vocals. I'm not really a fan, but if I was, I probably would have gotten this album.
    HoneyofRuin
    UG should really employ someone else to write these reviews. This reviewer barely manages to write a decent review - ever. Looking forward to listening to this album, though.
    MetalDrummer666
    sucks that Christian and Ray aren't in the band anymore, but getting Dino back and recruiting Gene Hoglan more than make up for it, i'll have to give it a listen sometime.
    Steve08
    webbtje wrote: It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herreras almost inhuman drumming is missed. He was replaced by Gene Hoglan. Gene Hoglan.
    In The Mist
    RocknRollRay wrote: I haven't really listened to FF, my first listen was this album and the only reason I checked them out was because of Hoglan. They certainly are a HEAVY band OLOLOLOLOLOLOOOLLLOL Good music, very heavy, very metal. The only thing that didn't impress me was the vocals. I'm not really a fan, but if I was, I probably would have gotten this album.
    In The Mist
    In The Mist wrote: RocknRollRay wrote: I haven't really listened to FF, my first listen was this album and the only reason I checked them out was because of Hoglan. Good music, very heavy, very metal. The only thing that didn't impress me was the vocals. I'm not really a fan, but if I was, I probably would have gotten this album.
    They certainly are a HEAVY band OLOLOLOLOLOLOOOLLLOL self fix.
    d-340
    Steven E wrote: Christian isn't even an original member, Dino did the bass on the first album. Plus Christian's riffs sound like Dino rip-offs
    Well, his riffs on Archetype anyway. I tend to not acknowledge Transgression, it wasn't FF. @masterofmetal85 : I would put "Formation of Damnation" and "World Painted Blood" over "The Blackening" and throw in Shadows Fall's "Retribution" on a best of the 2000's list. But I do agree with you though. Oh, and the reviewer is a moron.
    d-340
    Oh, and almost forgot, Mechanize is FF's best since SoaNM and Demanufacture!
    BKGMorley
    webbtje wrote: It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herreras almost inhuman drumming is missed. He was replaced by Gene Hoglan. Gene Hoglan.
    agreed
    Natsuka
    Really good album, one of the best with Demanufacture and Obsolete !! I like the background noise in "mechanize" which looks like an industrial machine. The bass is really present as in "mechanize" or "oxidizer" Gene is a genius. Dino is back. And finally, Burton always sings in passing from clear to metal The bonus music "crash test" and the 3 bonus music on the cd are significant even if these are music of soul of the new machine and obsolete in a modern version.
    droptuning
    awesome album, though i do miss some of the slower rhythmic grinding stuff from previous albums. great album though, love the ring of dino's 8 string guitar on the first track.
    Doc.Tripp77
    Totally awesome. I fail to understand why Gene Hoglan wasn't mentioned in the review like he was a nobody. As far as Gene's drumming goes, I couldn't tell much of a difference between his and Herrera's drumming. Hoglan all by himself is a legend. He played in Death, with their Symbolic album and he has played with Strapping Young Lad, The New Black album. When I opened up the FF Pamphlet, I was surprised to see that Gene had replaced Raymond while already listing to Mechanize. Yes, Fear Factory has a revolving door policy, but dammit, this album works. With a best rating of 10, I'll give this album a 9.5.
    chiba666
    Very good album, One of the best by far, impressed with the Drumming but then what do you expect with Gene 'the Atomic Clock' Hoglan behind the kit. Buts vocals are sounding very strong, interesting to hear what he's likel ive these days. A good buy this one
    [x]Huffy[x]
    webbtje wrote: It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herreras almost inhuman drumming is missed. He was replaced by Gene Hoglan. Gene Hoglan.
    Hoglan > Herrera, most definitely.
    nailsarecruel
    benjaminby wrote: Uhm, I think everyone missed the quotes on nailsarecruel's post. HE wasn't saying that as himself, he was being sarcastic about the reviewer. Whether you agree with his view or not is fine, I'm just saying, make sure your lashing back with the appropriate context in mind.
    At least someone got the point. This album has been under heavy speculation from the moment Stroud and Hoglan's addition to the Fear Factory lineup was mentioned. For the history of the band in general, the history of its returning member and the talents of Stroud and (especially) Hoglan, this review was poorly executed and completely unhelpful. But the clueless backlashes are genuinely appreciated, though.
    mrshreddy
    ITS AMAZING!!!!! Final Exit is the best and Christploitation is ****ing BRUUTALLL!!! For some reason i had the album on iTunes before the album was actually released so... dunno why but its ****ing mad! a must buy for FF fans!
    CoconutBackward
    "It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herreras almost inhuman drumming is missed" No one is going to give this guy's review a second thought after saying that.
    nailsarecruel
    Seems like the reviewer's holding out hope to work for Rolling Stone someday. "Yeah, so this really fat guy came back to this band that sounds like a cross between Linkin Park, Black Album Metallica and terminator 2, right? And because of the drama in the band, they replaced their drummer with some guy no one's ever heard of. And OMG the singer croons too when he's not sounding shouty. Think a mix between Rod Stewart and Tony Orlando but even though he's older than I, he's so dreamy. And since like I mentioned they've got a Metallica/Linkin Park/T2 vibe to them, I totally give them an 8. Might have scored higher, but I can't stop thinking about Pink's performance at the Grammys. She was like so totally wet and spinning. Wow"
    Flaming Chaos
    CoconutBackward wrote: "It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herreras almost inhuman drumming is missed" No one is going to give this guy's review a second thought after saying that.
    It's a woman, but this.
    Chozodragon
    webbtje wrote: It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herreras almost inhuman drumming is missed. He was replaced by Gene Hoglan. Gene Hoglan.
    Spoony_Bard
    webbtje wrote: It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herreras almost inhuman drumming is missed. He was replaced by Gene Hoglan. Gene Hoglan.
    ..... *buys album*
    godberry
    This is the best album they've released since Demanufacture. I think an 8 is a little low considering Digimortal and Transgression have higher scores on UG.
    HereticHammer01
    I think she's got it wrong...if anything, the drumming is one of the things that impressed me most. Probably agree with the overall score, its damn good.
    Slovak_Ghost
    nailsarecruel wrote: Seems like the reviewer's holding out hope to work for Rolling Stone someday. "Yeah, so this really fat guy came back to this band that sounds like a cross between Linkin Park, Black Album Metallica and terminator 2, right? And because of the drama in the band, they replaced their drummer with some guy no one's ever heard of. And OMG the singer croons too when he's not sounding shouty. Think a mix between Rod Stewart and Tony Orlando but even though he's older than I, he's so dreamy. And since like I mentioned they've got a Metallica/Linkin Park/T2 vibe to them, I totally give them an 8. Might have scored higher, but I can't stop thinking about Pink's performance at the Grammys. She was like so totally wet and spinning. Wow"
    What are you even talking about I though it was a good review
    MetalBass 77
    webbtje wrote: It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herreras almost inhuman drumming is missed. He was replaced by Gene Hoglan. Gene Hoglan.
    Gene Hoglan
    Tapping_Ninja
    nailsarecruel wrote: Seems like the reviewer's holding out hope to work for Rolling Stone someday. "Yeah, so this really fat guy came back to this band that sounds like a cross between Linkin Park, Black Album Metallica and terminator 2, right? And because of the drama in the band, they replaced their drummer with some guy no one's ever heard of.
    Some one no one knows.... Only someone who's never listen to real Extream metal... Please Gene Hoglan's played with Death, Dethklok, Testment, Opeth, and Devin Townsend... Now if you've never heard of any of those bands then I understand, but to say he's a nobody is just pure ignorent. He's a legend within the metal community not some guy off the streets.
    Soulgrind025
    Seems like the reviewer's holding out hope to work for Rolling Stone someday. "Yeah, so this really fat guy came back to this band that sounds like a cross between Linkin Park, Black Album Metallica and terminator 2, right? And because of the drama in the band, they replaced their drummer with some guy no one's ever heard of. And OMG the singer croons too when he's not sounding shouty. Think a mix between Rod Stewart and Tony Orlando but even though he's older than I, he's so dreamy. And since like I mentioned they've got a Metallica/Linkin Park/T2 vibe to them, I totally give them an 8. Might have scored higher, but I can't stop thinking about Pink's performance at the Grammys. She was like so totally wet and spinning. Wow" WHAT? You have NO idea what youre talking about! Linkin Park? You must have recently started listening to Metal... and, they sound nothing like Metallica. You apparently have smoked too much crack to hear the difference between these bands. And, you dont know who Gene Hoaglan is? Seriouly man, educate yourself. And quit leaving ignorant rants about something you have no knowledge over. Great Review!
    Galvatron
    I was told months ago by Gene that this album was awesome,I have only listened to it once and its rating right now is sitting on alright. A couple more listens might have it grow on me.
    benjaminby
    Uhm, I think everyone missed the quotes on nailsarecruel's post. HE wasn't saying that as himself, he was being sarcastic about the reviewer. Whether you agree with his view or not is fine, I'm just saying, make sure your lashing back with the appropriate context in mind.
    madcowman19
    Never listened to Fear Factory before, but if Gene Hoglan's in it I'm for sure going to check it out. His stuff with Death was amazing
    Mad-Season
    webbtje wrote: It is worth noting that the heat generated by Herreras almost inhuman drumming is missed. He was replaced by Gene Hoglan. Gene Hoglan.
    HAHA. Gene Hoglan, best in the business. His work on this album is amazing.