Released: Jun 5, 2012
Genre: Industrial Metal
Label: Candlelight Records
Number Of Tracks: 10
"The Industrialist" is the eighth studio album from the industrial metal band Fear Factory. Overall this is a solid record for any Fear Factory or just metal fan out there.
osiris12, on june 06, 2012 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 9
Lyrics: 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. // 9
Overall Impression: 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. // 9
TheManvier, on july 06, 2012 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is very well produced. The guitars all have a deep low end that cuts straight through the mix, but the producer was careful so that not a single instrument is inaudible. You can actually hear bass as well! The album is mixed well, and I really like their sound. There are well placed ambient effects put over these heavy riffs, and it creates an effect that is generally unsettling. In terms of musicianship of the band members, the drummer blows me away, the way he can keep up with the riffs Dino (guitarist/bassist) puts together. I know it is nothing new for metal drums, but it's impressive nevertheless.
Unfortunately, many of the riffs on this album seem to sound the same: single note patterns of one to about seven or thick chord chugs, taking some influence from odd places such as melodic metal (without the virtuosity) and metalcore. It really makes these tracks kind of meld together, but I can tell they were intended to be listened to as separate songs. It really let me down. I mean, the riffs are good, but they aren't very original for Fear Factory. They seem to be pulling a "Meshuggah" (endlessly refining and perfecting their one sound, not trying many things new), however where Meshuggah were technically genius, with their shifting time signatures and odd syncopation, Fear Factory plays mostly (if not always) in 4/4, and does nothing to innovate from its past efforts. In terms of individual tracks, the one I like the most is "God Eater", with this very "Halloween Theme"-esque intro, with creepy chanting and a dissonant guitar riff.
Overall, the sound of this album is excellent, with nicely mixed tracks and cool sound effects, such as industrial tools (screwdrivers, drills, etc.). It creates a very industrial (fitting, huh? ) and metallic sound to this LP. However, it's just not a very creative LP, nor does it really push the limits of what Fear Factory can do. // 7
Lyrics: Lyrics and subject matter are where this album falls apart for me. I know there is a whole story with this album about this sentient being the "Industrialist", but I don't hear that in this album. All I hear lyrically and subject matter-wise from most of these tracks is either "God/Religion sucks and it's the plague of humanity" and other blatant anti-religious messages ("New Messiah", "God Eater", "Virus Of Faith", "Religion Is Flawed Because Man Is Flawed") or government conspiracy type stuff that has to do with the government hunting the "Industrialist" down (while he was a person) and mechanically altering him to become a machine man/robot, or with government-sponsored fear tactics and discrimination ("The Industrialist", "Recharger", "Difference Engine", "Disassemble", "Human Augmentation"), with one track about the "Industrialist" being brainwashed ("Depraved Mind Murder").
I understand that this LP is a "concept album", but that does not excuse the fact that I don't expect as much preachiness that I get from this LP. I get messages of "The government is going to brainwash and kill us all", or "Religion is poisoning our minds and destroying our societies!". It's really tiring. Singer's skills? What can you say? He death growls some (it's OK) and he sings some (that's decent as well). He is average overall. // 5
Overall Impression: Overall, I have a very mixed opinion on this album. Some songs really get me going and hit straight on the mark ("God Eater", "Recharger", "Virus Of Faith"), while others are VERY, VERY, TERRIBLY OFF ("Human Augmentation", "Difference Engine"). "Human Augmentation" is honestly one of the worst, most anti-climactic ways to end an album I've ever heard. It is 9:05 minutes of straight, arduous ambience that bores you to death, and it just drones on, and on, and on, and on, and on... It seems to never stop. There's dreary production, boring whispering, and overall the track is very dull and lacking any exciting elements. I like how the track has industrial sound effects, like steam, pipes, and even radio static at some points. It sounds like it was recorded in a haunted factory which was thought to be permanently broken, and everything just started working out of nowhere, along with ghost voices. A good atmosphere, I admit.
However, "Human Augmentation" would have worked if it was 3 minutes long. It is three times that long, which I think is a terrible, terrible way to end an album. The song is what is most recent in your mind, and it is a boring, drawn out, drab, and slow track. Had they ended with "God Eater" or something in that vein, This album would have gotten at least an 8, but for now, I'd give it a 7/10, because this is pretty good, but I want to see what Fear Factory can REALLY do. I want to see them push their playing abilities and musical boundaries as far as they possibly can.
Overall, not a bad album, but there are way too many songs that are simply not needed, that sound the same as each other, that don't bring anything new to the Fear Factory discography. They can do much better. // 7
HardAttack, on september 13, 2012 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Fear Factory is back (sort of) again with a brand new record which was slated to be a continuation of "Mechanize", a return to the concept record, which I believe can set a band up for success if the lyrical writers have a visionary quality to them, and in this case, Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares don't disappoint. I say they are "sort of" back because this record is written and performed largely by Bell and Cazares themselves. A lot of people either don't know, or maybe simply forgot that Gene Hoglan has already exited stage left from Fear Factory and the new drummer for their record is a drum machine (which does quite a good job, actually). To give a human credit though, their drum tech and programmer John Sankey wrote the drums for their demo cut, and were then polished and recorded using the drum machine. I feel that to any musician with a good ear for percussion, you can hear that the drums have a mathematical feel to them, which is the real "computer" part of the drum machine. But because of Fear Factory's technical drumming throughout the year, and this particular records message; this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Dino does a wonderful job with guitars writing inspired rifts on some of the guitars and doing a little bit of lead work, similar to their last effort "Mechanize". He can also be credited to writing and recording the bass for this album which I think he did a good job of. Burton's classic vocal style of having shorter chants or singing choruses with a reverb effect (which I think is still awesome even more than a decade of their music) mixed with his rough yells is back, and sounds as though he hasn't aged at all since "Demanufacture" which is a good sign for the potential of future albums. I don't find there to be much innovation as far as how their music "works", as some critics have cited, but I'm a fan, and as far as I'm concerned; pile it on. I love what they're doing, and I want to hear more of it. I think the perfect Fear Factory record is still "Demanufacture", but much like their efforts "Obsolete" or "Mechanize", this is a very strong album and can easily carry them all the way to another release, even if it takes them a few years. // 8
Lyrics: "Deprivation has been forced on me
I am losing all of my memories
They are nothing more to me than a dream
I reject all visions of reality"
The whole album is once again, a concept album, so the preconceived notion that most if not all of the songs are about mechanical and computer industrialization of our planet would be absolutely correct. Burton and Dino make our current world state and future world state (should we survive another 50-100 years without a nuclear war) look bleak and soulless, which is what those lyrics seem to represent. Technological simulations of things are the new reality, and we are losing our souls, the essence of what makes us human through the technology we use every day. Scary, but food for thought. This album doesn't have a dynamic message for each song so I can't score it a 10 for being hugely complex and diverse, but it's a good concept and it does say something to me, as mentioned above, so it's definitely a solid album in regards to lyrics. // 7
Overall Impression: As I said earlier, this comes closest to their previous album, "Mechanize". It's built around a similar concept, fits with the bands theme of combining electronics with standard metal fare and continues their exploration with concept albums. It's hard to compare Fear Factory with other metal bands accurately. You could argue that Divine Heresy is similar due to Dino's guitar playing and the fact that their lead singer more or less copies Burton C. Bell's style, but I don't think they were an adequate substitute for Fear Factory. You could also argue that Nine Inch Nails or Cell Dweller does a good job of combining rock/metal with electronics. And they do. But they don't have the same sort of bite that Fear Factory does. I think they're really a unique band, have been ahead of their time musically since the beginning, and are proof that the Industrial Metal genre still has momentum if it's done right. Some of the songs on this album are a little drawn out (songs with long times can be good, but I think a couple of these tracks were stretched to their limit), and some of the intros can be annoying (I'm looking at you "God Eater") but it has some of the crushing metal sound that Fear Factory's been serving up since the 90's with an electronic twist, and as said earlier, I like it; and I look forward to more. It would definitely be worth a re-buy if taken for any Fear Factory fan, and this album could even be one that makes new fans too. // 8