The factory is Up and Running…
Fear Factory are about as legendary as you can get in the metal world. Everything from their sci-fi post apocalyptic lyrics, to their infamous infighting, Fear Factory has seen it all in their 20-plus years in metal. And if Genexus, the band’s 10th album, is any indication, they have no intention of slowing down.
The first track on the album, “Autonomous Combat System,” is pretty much a stereotypical Fear Factory track. The opening sample is what seems to be a computerized voice talking about how “machines are the next evolutionary step,” a concept Fear Factory has been discussing for more than a decade, which then fades into a full on machine gun double bass and guitar. They definitely haven’t strayed too far from the path here.
As many of their fans know, that path has always included electronics. They are widely regarded as one of the first metal bands to embrace guitar modeling and to use keyboards in the same way most industrial bands in the early ’90s were using them. The second track on Genexus, “Anodized,” is a perfect example of that. It’s brutal in all the ways you would expect, but has keyboards and samples in the background that add enough depth to give the song an extra layer of the dark broodiness it screams for.
“Soul Hacker” is basically the single on the album. It sounds more like a nu-metal song from the late ’90s than their traditional industrial hybrid. That’s not to say the delivery isn’t perfect. For an almost pop metal take, the music is note for note one of their better tunes. With that said, Dino Cazeres is absolutely making some of the best music he has made in years. Also Burton Bell’s performance on this track is top notch. Bell sounds like he did 20 years ago: still killing it.
The album’s final track, “Expiration Date,” might be the only ballad they may have ever written. The song is a long one for them, clocking in at over eight minutes, and it has almost none of what makes this album so good . It seems out of place but still somehow makes sense in the big picture.
Overall Genexus could be one of their best. It has all of the things that Fear Factory fans will love with some added touches new metal fans who weren’t alive when they started can really enjoy as well. The highly underestimated Fear Factory will trudge onward to that dystopian future they have been describing for decades. Let’s just hope they remain its soundtrack.