With those words begins The Industrialist, a new chapter in Fear Factory’s career of ideas and extremes. The follow-up to 2010’s critically acclaimed Mechanize, The Industrialist is a vital chapter in the history of one of the most over-achieving bands in heavy music. It’s the Fear Factory machine at its most confident and passionate, bringing every sonic weapon in its arsenal to the fore.
The shadow of the Los Angeles born band has loomed large, writing the book of industrial metal that has gone on to influence the likes of Rammstein and inform such stalwart noisemongers as Ministry. Fear Factory also merged the idea of melodic vocals erupting from death metal screaming long before it became modern metal’s de-riguer. Over the course of a many storied career that’s seen the success of five critically acclaimed albums plus a remix EP and album, Fear Factory has had a career of creative and commercial success, selling over three million records worldwide: they’ve also been plagued by bitter infighting and have emerged from it all in 2012 with a new alloy of aggression.
A NEW NEXUS.
Mechanize exorcised the demons that came with guitarist Dino Cazares and Burton C. Bell’s reunion after an eight year split that saw Fear Factory recording and performing without Cazares. Those wounds healed, The Industrialist revisits and refines the sweeping melodies and unforgettable songwriting that’s also long distinguished Fear Factory.
“There’s definitely been an evolution from that record to this one,” states Bell. “It’s still familiar very familiar and still very Fear Factory but there are elements that we didn’t really get to on the last record for the sake of metal.”
Of course, Fear Factory aren’t about to lighten up as “Recharger” ignites the album with the same trademark ferocity as Fear Factory classics like “Edgecrusher” or “Replica”. Dino’s industrial-tinged riffing is all discipline, noise and fury while Burton’s trademark vocals bleed with desperation before exploding into enormous melodies. As the frontman screams “The future begins now!” at the top of “New Messiah,” there’s no mistaking just who is behind the ten-track apocalypse that is The Industrialist.
“This one is more Fear Factory than anything we’ve done in years,” says Dino. “Collaborating with Burt again was easy, it was like magic. It felt like we were back in our apartment with seven roommates trying to write songs with a drum machine.”
Fear Factory’s musical and lyrical vision of Future Shock is the beating machine heart of The Industrialist. While the “story” behind the album is better spelled out in a companion booklet that comes with a special edition of album, there is a very obvious storyline rooted both in forward thinking science fiction but also in contemporary events including the Occupy Wall Street and Anonymous Movements. “There is a main character who is called ‘The Industrialist’,” states Burton, referring to the character at the heart of songs like “God Eater: or “”Virus of Faith”. “He’s a machine that has become self-aware and becomes a catalyst for change. The album has the loose concept of a murder plot, with the realization that the automaton is becoming more human each day. The last track on the album “Human Augmentation” is moment where machine becomes human and realizes its own humanity. That’s a thought that’s very key to the Fear Factory universe.”
DEUS EX MACHINA.
The Industrialist found Fear Factory in the studio with longtime co-producer and collaborator Rhys Fulber as well as Logan Mader who did additional tracking and digital editing. The process of writing and recording the album was hardly traditional. It was about as intense as it could be with Cazares and Bell constructing The Industrialist in the studio. “Everything that we recorded is fresh and exciting,” says Burton. “We didn’t demo anything before we recorded it. You can hear the life and the creativity that went into the making of this record as it was being laid down.”
Dino is quick to compare The Industrialist to the band’s longstanding 1995 classic Demanufacture. “Demanufacture took what we had done before and broke all that down to create something new,” says Dino of the album that combined the mechanized Death Metal of Fear Factory’s 1993 debut Soul of a New Machine and its then-untraditional follow-up Fear is the Mind Killer, an album of remixes. “We had some of the same intentions on the new record. Break it all down and build it all back up,” says Cazares. “It’s noisier. It has more Industrial influences. It’s more Fear Factory and it just poured out of us.”
Cazares and Bell aren’t merely proud of the art they’ve made and continue to create but they also realize the impact Fear Factory has had on multiple generations of metal, industrial, and aggressive music. “We definitely pioneered the combination between melodic and brutal vocals,” states Dino. “Syncopated guitar and kick-drum patterns. We were even the first death-grind-industrial band to have remix records!” It is staggering to think that today’s Dubstep Metallers to progressive-minded “D-Jent” bands owe a debt to Fear Factory. “People don’t even know where some of these ideas originally came from!” enthuses the guitarist.
THE AGE OF THE INDUSTRIALIST.
Where several side-bands and offshoots have emerged from the Fear Factory fold: Dino’s tungsten-timbered metal machine Divine Heresy and Burton’s more cerebral Ascension of the Watchers, Fear Factory is the focus. Without exception or reservation. “Being in Fear Factory is survival for me,” says the frontman. “It’s what still matters most to us.”
When the band hits stages worldwide in 2012, it will be some of Fear Factory’s most anticipated and charged shows to date. The age of The Industrialist has begun.