Sound — 9
Two years ago, the mighty Fear Factory released "Mechanize", their first album with long-time guitarist Dino Cazares back at the helm in 9 years. It was exciting for us all for Dino and Burton to finally be reunited. But when we found out that the follow up, "The Industrialist", would be a full-on concept album, I'm sure every last FF fan was blown away. Up to today, we have been salivating, waiting for the next offering from the masters. And at long-last, it is finally here for us. The sound of the album is very crisp and clean, which is a little bit of a turn off actually. But not enough to make it bad. It's just a little to crisp. But overall Rhys Fulber did a hell of a job helping to bring this album to life. As for the overall sound of FF, it's what you've come to expect from them: the machine gun-style 7/8-string guitar riffs, spine-compressing drums and the resonating, violent warcries of Burton C. Bell. One thing I was hoping for was more soloing from Dino. After "Fear Campaign", I just want more, more, more. But that's okay; I didn't expect it to be something that would run on with their albums to come. The only other big disappointment of this album was that the last two tracks are instrumental/ambient. I was hoping for a longer album this ground, but instead it ended up being shorter.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics, again, are what you would expect of Fear Factory. They're based on a concept that I don't fully understand and I don't think was fully explored on this album. With "Obsolete", I was sucked in and couldn't skip over a single song. But with this album, the concept almost seems a little, dare I say... Forced? Don't get me wrong the lyrics Burt wrote this time are of as superb a quality as ever. I truly love the chorus of "Recharger" the most: "Open your scars and the sky opens wide/See a new world in your eyes/Believe in yourself and you will survive/Live out the life you designed". And Burton may be better than ever at this point. The only song that just didn't deliver for me vocally or lyrically was "Disassemble". Bada-s 8-string assault, but the chorus just kills me, how it sounds and the lyrics. Probably the first FF song I've heard that I didn't like.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall this is a solid record for any Fear Factory or just metal fan out there. If you're looking for your first Fear Factory album though, go for "Demanufacture" or "Obsolete". Or hell, even "Archetype". To me, the stand out songs are "The Industrialist", "Recharger", "New Messiah", "Difference Engine", and "God Eater". Another thing I love about Fear Factory is you're never going to see crappy or dumb song titles. But I just wish that the album had been longer like "Archetype", or had some longer songs, maybe. But overall (and I haven't bought it yet, but I just know that I will), I would buy this again. For sure. All hail Fear Factory.