A strong dose of heavy metal
California heavy metal band Fear Factory has been raising hell since 1989, and since their inception, the band has released 10 albums. In June, Fear Factory dropped their latest record, Aggression Continuum. What’s notable about this album is that former vocalist Burton C. Bell previously record all the material before he left Fear Factory in 2020, and with the release of Aggression Continuum, Bell receives credit for the work he put in. Now, the music on Aggression Continuum is soul-shaking due to how Burton C. Bell’s vocals give each track a solid kick of authority, the guitar playing by Dino Cazares fills the atmosphere with righteous riffs and Mike Heller’s drum playing shines with top-notch drum beats. Aggression Continuum is a hard-hitting record that proves how heavy metal is still alive in the music world.
The surging track “Disruptor” is the second song off of Aggression Continuum, and this piece captures how talented Cazares is as a guitarist. In heavy metal, the lead guitarist plays an important part when creating a song because each note has to have a loud sound behind it, and on “Disruptor,” Cazares creates smashing riffs that contribute to the craziness of this composition. “Disruptor” is a classic example of what metal music should sound like through powerful guitar playing.
A perfectly harmonic track, “Purity” is a well-crafted tune housing an incredible vocal performance from Bell. While listening, it is enjoyable to hear what kind of a vocalist Bell is because he does a great job of changing his vocal tone throughout the whole tune. He starts to sing the lyrics in a lighter tone while shouting, and the mix of Bell’s soft and powerful voice gives “Purity” is a solid kick of high-strung feelings. Bell did a fine job with using his voice to create a track filled with pure emotions.
“Collapse” is another jolting, mind-dazzling composition that highlights what Cazares is capable of while playing the bass guitar. Right off the bat, sharp bass guitar riffs emerge from the background with ear-bleeding noise that will leave listeners wanting to hear more, and vein-shaking vibrations can be felt through the speakers. “Collapse” is a maddening track that displays how versatile Cazares is with his bass guitar playing, and if people want to hear deep riffs, “Collapse” can fulfill the expectation.
The lyrically honest track “Cognitive Dissonance” has lyrics people can relate to, and in some ways, the words reflect what is going on in our society. “Why do you enforce your laws on me?/ Disguise your lies as the truth to me/ Run ‘cause I’m taking you down with me/ This is my life” suggests that authority isn’t as truthful as it may seem, and people are willing to go down in a blaze of glory to make sure that justice remains honest in people’s lives. The songwriting on “Cognitive Dissonance” is brilliant due to the truth within the song.
Musically thunderous, “Monolith” is a dynamite track that has Heller drumming his heart out. People can hear how much Heller enjoys being a part of Fear Factory, and on “Monolith,” the sound of Heller hitting his drum kit brings raw energy to this composition. Fans will appreciate the amount of effort Heller puts into this track.
Aggression Continuum is a top-notch heavy metal record that shows how important it is to be creative while making music. Fear Factory is surging forward with their tenth album, and it will be wonderful to hear these songs live.