Album Review – Fear Factory “Mechanize” 2010
It’s as good as you’d hoped. FF aim to please with their swaggering spiritual sequel to 1995’s breakthrough Demanufacture. That record helped invent cyber-metal, and if it can be considered Fear Factory’s Ride the Lightning, then this release is their Master of Puppets, the remake/sequel/continuation, about a dozen years late. In between there were only brief flashes of brilliance, and although Archetype came close, they didn’t have a full album’s worth of sustained high level material until now.
It’s also worth noting that Mechanize proves that the essential configuration of parts (and they’ve tried them all over the past decade) is the Burton Bell/Dino Cazares team. Arkaea isn’t this good. Divine Heresy isn’t this good. Fear Factory minus Dino was okay, but not this good. Ascension of the Watchers is good, but it’s not metal. Bonus points for Rhys Fulber for choosing no sides and driving his world-class keyboard skills around like a Red Cross ambulance during these conflicts.
If you have to narrow it down to one element, it’s really Bell that makes the difference. Imitators he has many, but none of them could deliver the anarchic menace of “Mechanize” and in the same session create the perfect heavy/catchy balance of “Powershifter”, an early leader for arena sing-along favourite of the decade. Bell’s enthusiasm is matched in the instrumentation, as Cazares plays heavier and faster than ever before, making the choice of seasoned pros Gene Hoglund and Byron Stroud as rhythm section as clever as it is necessary.
You’ve heard it on YouTube; you know it’s good. Just go get it. 9 out of 10
This entry was posted on February 13, 2010 at 9:26 pm and is filed under Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags Fear Factory, Heavy Metal, Industrial, Metal, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.