FEAR FACTORY – Genexus
OUT: August 7th, 2015
FEAR FACTORY Line up:
Burton C.Bell | vocals
Dino Cazares | guitars
Tony Campos | bass
Mike Heller | drums
There are so many similarities between the latest Fear Factory release, Genexus and the new Terminator movie it’s uncanny. Both the artist and the movie have been re-booted, re-imagined and rekindled. The old stars have returned and along with them a few fresh cameo roles to saviour. Heck, even the Fear Factory album cover depicts an endo-skeleton similar to that of the T1000. So where does the new Fear Factory album sit?
For the most part, Genexus, the band’s ninth studio album is another themed battle between man vs machine, almost a soundtrack to the movie score for what Terminator has created on the big screen since the late 80s. Now well into their third decade creating manic industrial metal, the dry lung martyr himself, Burton C.Bell and the rotund Dino Cazares have attempted to re-boot the machine, yet again, following the sometimes misfiring, Industrialist album. Where that album failed against the beauty of the harsh Mechanize of 2010, Genexus has without doubt refuelled the fire in the Fear Factory soul.
“People are always fearful of something they don’t understand,” a narrator introduces the album, amongst atmospherics and piano before the heavy swirl engulfs the track and that patent Fear Factory machine gun beat blasts into the sound. When the Cazares riff hits, it hits hard. ‘Autonomous Combat System’, is a fine opener, with Bell’s combo of harsh vocals and soulful clean tracking hitting the spot.
The groove of Genexus is apparent throughout. Cazares creating riffs that combine in tandem with producer, Rhys Fulber’s spell bounding effects. ‘Anodized’ and ‘Dialectic’ both crushing in delivery, deserved to be played loud. Its clear the Fear Factory machine wanted a more hard hitting punch on this record and Fulber’s impeccable snapping production provides this.
“You’ll never take my soul,” Bell bellows on ‘Soul Hacker’, a bass infused sledgehammer that evokes memories of past Fear Factory classics, ‘Linchpin’ and ‘Replica’. The sound is heavy, sometimes generic but delivered with ferocity nonetheless. Drummer, Mike Heller plays live on a few tracks, though to be honest, the frenetic machine gun pace of the tracking makes it hard to determine what is real and what is not. ‘Protomech’, the heaviest song on the album, a clear example.
Title track, ‘Genexus’ introduces more synthesised riffage, before ‘Church of Execution’ attacks with Bell back to his best vocally, harnessing his inner demon.
Riffs upon riffs, Genexus is a colossus. The modus operandi Fear Factory implore with machine gun guitars and drums accompanied by Bell’s unique combination of harsh and clean vocals occasionally come across as all too common, but that would be harsh considering how much better this album is compared to The Industrialist.
Concluding with the epic near nine minute Gary Numan-esque ‘Expiration Date’, which is drenched in 80’s industrial pose with a subtle Cazares atmospheric riff, it’s an ending that surprises, like the movie of its comparison.
Lyrically evocative, Fear Factory continue their familiar battle of a futuristic warzone played out by an elite industrial metal band. There is more depth to find in this album with repeat listens but in the end don’t over think Genexus. Simply plug it in and play it loud.
Check out Fear Factory’s first show of the Summer 2015 European Tour – With Full Force Festival – Roitzschjora, Germany – July 3, in Episode one from the Fear Factory YouTube link…
Genexus track listing:
01. Autonomous Combat System
04. Soul Hacker
07. Church Of Execution
09. Battle For Utopia
10. Expiration Date
Limited digipak bonus tracks:
11. Mandatory Sacrifice (Genexus Remix)
12. Enhanced Reality