Friday, August 7, 2015

Fear Factory : "Genexus" review & video

Not a lot has changed with these guys since the 90s except they sound a little less like Pantera from space. In fact production wise this has more in common with Meshuggah, though they are not tuned down to a. The only two original members are Burton and Dino. Admittedly I been out of touch with the band for a decade or more, but it seemed like their drummer was the secret weapon to their sound, so it must have been all in the triggers. On this album the drums are split between new drummer  Deen Castronovo who played with Burton in G/Z/RThey take a more sci-fi approach to the intro of the first song the synths factoring in heavily. This balances the big metal sound with the industrial crunch enough , then his more predictable vocals come in. The whole cyber-metal thing works better on the very Meshuggah like "Anodized" who you would think Fear Factory influenced , but the Swedes formed in 87, where Burton and the boys got together two years later.

"Dielectric" finds them taking a slight return to being space Pantera. Burton C Bell yells that they will never take his soul before they launch into something falling some where in-between nu-metal and djent, which if we are going to be honest is a proggier take on nu metal.I do like the tight syncopation on this one and it doesn't sound like it was a b-side from "De-manufacture".

Militant double bass leads into "Proto-mech' which seems like it might have some suffer bastards going on, instead it turns into another mid paced groove machine. With Bell spitting out the lyrics in a barked almost rap. Not that they are turning into Bio-Hazard. I like the clean vocals to this song , they are a little higher and not in the same chanted cadence they tend to lean towards with that sort of thing. They go a little more industrial strength in their chug on the title track. The drill sargent barking that dominates the song. He is singing something about being a cyborg that being enslaved. The clean vocals come in toward the end of the song and the synths coast along throughout. "Church of Execution" has a more solid groove to it than some of the previous songs on this album and breaks down on the verse more for the chorus to punch.

They hit on some more color by numbers metal grooves on "Regenerate" which truth be told if it wasn't for Bell's approach to clean singing and the synths they would sound like every other post- Pantera metal band, though the break down towards the end has some of their own flare to it. Bell's voice sounds good, giving more soul to what would otherwise come across as stiff. The typical head banging chug is beaten into your face on "Battle for Utopia" . Bell asks " what gives you the right" before they play good cop and bad cop, going into the clean vocals in one of the more predictable places. The last song "Expiration Date" is the albums' best.  It's not even a metal song, but more of a Killing Joke like take on electronica. The vocals work well with the music. The guitar just provides a distance coat of noise in the background.

These guys have been at it for over twenty years so they know what they are doing. But what are they doing to bring anything new to the table? To this album's credit they sound like this album did come out in today's current climate of metal as they have certainly influenced bands like Dagoba, and the album never wallows in too much sentiment or feel like a retro act, but then they have always been ahead of their time.I'll give it a 7.5 , not a bad listen at al go ahead and round it up if you kept listening to them over the years.

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