30 Reviews in 30 Days: #12
Fear Factory – The Industrialist
Candlelight, June 5, 2012.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 was an epic day in the metal world. Kreator released their latest (review), and Fear Factory dropped their heavy, thought provoking imagery in sound, The Industrialist. And like Kreator’s Phantom Antichrist, I really did literally buy it twice.
I don’t know why I never got around to writing the full review of this album shortly after it came out like I intended to. I managed to get the Kreator up (see link above). Perhaps I kept getting interrupted? *shrug*
The majority of Fear Factory’s catalog must be listened to as a whole, as one song is mean to operatically tell a story over the entire industrial metal symphonic opus. That was evident from when I first met Dino Cazares and Burton C Bell back in 1992. The other thing that blew me away from that first meeting was seamless ability of Bell to switch from growl to soaring beautiful harmonies on the fly – even live.
1. The Industrialist – This is a work that needed to be written. As in the past, Burton C Bell and Dino Cazares compose epic works about the disconnect of society as sheep from the reality while those in power take over. Say and do nothing and this is what you get. If Fear Factory’s primary, founding members are not atheists, they are certainly agnostics.
2. Recharger – A call to open one’s mind and step out of line. “Open your scars and the sky opens wide.” That line speaks volumes.
3. New Messiah – “Future begins now.” Once the questioning begins, so do the protests and lashing out at the power. But be careful what you wish for – a new leader could just be like the old one and the same continues, the cycle continues. So you must continue to think for yourself.
4. God Eater – The opening phrasing and throughout this song we the music phrasing from the theme to The Shining. Say it with The Industrialist: No gods, no kings, only man.
5. Depraved Mind Murder – To truly understand the concept of the opera you have to read the story of The Industrialist and his breakaway from robotic, mindless, unquestioning existence. The Industrialist is essentially an ode to the freethinker.
6. Virus of Faith – Here is where Bell & Cazares really call out organized religion and blind acceptance of what an individual is told by a leader, in this case of the story, the programmer. “Kill everyone who does not belong.” Damn shame in the 21st century that we still operate on a xenophobic tribalism throughout most of humanity. The Internet and web of connectivity that was supposed to bring humanity together has instead created more pockets of hatred.
7. Difference Engine – In your face battering sound that fits the scene describes in the story just before the song.
8. Disassemble: Religion is Flawed because Man is Flawed – What is built up, must come down, as a consequence of what it has created. Industrial death metal riffs speak to the “fate to bring your world of hate to a final” tragic (or is it?) ending.
9. Human Augmentation – This track without paying attention is hard to tell where it begins and ends as it bridges the prior and next tracks in smooth transitions.
10. Blush Response (Difference Engine remix) – The opera really ends here, with this track, slowly rolling as The Industrialist – an automaton – tries to make logical sense out what he did, has been done. Blush in the title of the song likely refers to Joey Blush’s treatment of the song, as it is designated as a remix.
11. Landfill – Hard edge industrial, no metal here in genre. “We are nothing to the system.” If the last track would be the one that would roll during the credits of the movie, this one would be the one you would hear if you waited until the very end of the credits. Stick around, as you never know what you miss if you don’t. It has a danceable edge in a buzz saw, grinding way. It builds and serves as a summary for what your ears have just heard.
12. [untitled hidden track] – There are lyrics in here, but Burton does not harmonize in this track at all. Only growls, but the song is not quite a dub. It’s more of an afterthought, but it fits well and end with a final blow, no fading out here – the music just stops.
From the opening second to the final so-called hidden track at the end of the deluxe edition, The Industrialst harkens back to the early days of Fear Factory. Fat riffs, well strung together heavy industrial sounds speaking to a generation – damn has it really been that long? Yes, Fear Factory have been grinding it out for a generation. I hope that kids will rediscover them and explore their back catalog. They are well worth the journey. Here’s to a decade or two more.
Listening notes: Same ol’ earbuds and laptop. I have listen more over the last nearly two years since it’s release to the mp3’s purchased via Amazon – in addition to the deluxe CD edition digipak book. This spin was on the CD while actively referring to the story board scenes in the booklet.