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

3 Responses to “Album Review – Fear Factory “Mechanize” 2010”

  1. […] Miss: Fear Factory, after delivering what might be the record of the year, fumbled their soundcheck badly and then went through the motions in a badly truncated set.  I […]

  2. […] Will either one rise to the Sabbath II position of step-band? We’ll have to wait for Mechanize in 2010 to judge Dino and Burt, and deal with Years in the Darkness […]

  3. […] FF have gone on to bigger and better things, so their legacy is safe for now. Imagine this was the last thing they ever […]

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