Fear Factory – Mechanize
released February 9, 2010 on Candlelight Records
Basically, the best thing ever happened to Fear Factory: Burton and Dino reconciled, and half of Strapping Young Lad was incorporated into the band’s strongest lineup to date.
Words can barely contain the importance of The Human Metronome, Gene Hoglan, who drums circles around Raymond Herrera. Both Raymond and Christian Olde-Wolbers have done more than enough to demonstrate their impotence, between the mess that is Arkaea and the two previous FF albums. The band’s guts and soul comes mainly from the give-and-take between Bell and Cazares. But they need to construct on a solid foundation, and Byron Stroud’s resonant bass interlocks with Hoglan so well, it truly becomes archetypal. This fertile new territory allows for some inventiveness on Dino’s part, and the collaborations with Gene are some of the band’s best in years. Two of these, “Mechanized” and “Fear Campaign”, also showcase a welcome rekindled ferocity in Burton C. Bell.
Bell is missed on “The Metallic Division”, an instrumental lead-in to the album closer. And honestly, rave on however you like about “Final Exit”… it’s an overlong goodbye. Yes, it may be the longest FF song to date, but the bloody thing is wrapped up before five minutes pass and the remaining 200 seconds don’t serve the album well (mostly keyboard/synth by the otherwise-great Rhys Fulber, who returns after being absent from Transgression). “Controlled Demolition” didn’t quite jibe with me either. It’s well-played and has a solid chorus, but is marred by 9/11 conspiracy theory lyrics.
The beautiful part is, FF still sounds good regardless. The overall effects supersede the sum of its ample parts, and we have good reason to believe that another future classic may be down the line. As for right now, Mechanize easily rubs elbows with any of their definitive 90s output.
Try 1, 2, 3, 5, 8
02. Industrial Discipline
03. Fear Campaign
07. Controlled Demolition
08. Designing The Enemy
09. Metallic Division
10. Final Exit