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MP3 Music, February 9, 2010
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2010 album from the Alternative Metal veterans. Mechanize is a full-fisted blast of passion and innovation that sounds like the missing link betweens 1995's groundbreaking Demanufacture and 1998's more texturally nuanced Obsolete. Songs like 'Industrial Discipline' and 'Powershifter' are crushing and colossal, melding fast and precise rhythms with vocals that pinwheel from raw and scathing to hauntingly melodic while 'Fear Campaign', which features harrowing spoken word passages, quickly segues into a showcase of punishing beats, rapid-fire riffs and ghostly keyboards. While Mechanize is instantly reminiscent of Fear Factory's most potent moments of discovery, its hardly a stroll down the old assembly line. The combination of technological advancements and experience of Fear Factory have evolved like a computer virus, constantly reconfiguring itself to maximize its destructive impact.
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I won't name bands, you know who I'm talking about.
But are their new albums a match for their masterpieces?
With Fear Factory it's always been about Demanufacture.
Some will argue that Obsolete is their best.
My favorite was always Demanufacture.
So upon hearing and reading about all the turmoil in the band I was rather happy with Archetype. It was still a great album.
Transgression on the other hand...............I blame the label for forcing the product before it was ready.
And then.............more band turmoil and we're now left with Burton and Dino again with Stroud and Hoglan.
And how does it measure up?
Does it actually match the almighty and eternal Demanufacture?
I didn't have my hopes set that high. I loved Divine Heresy's last album Bringer of Plagues and was hoping Mechanize would be at least half that good.
Man was I wrong.
Not only does this album equal Demanufacture I'd say its a few notches above it.
This album has done to me what NO album has done since I was a teenager.
I could literally feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up and by the time I got to Christploitation I was ready to break every window in my house.
This album literally made me want to go bezerk.
I'm 35 and it's hard to get an old geezer metal head to feel like this.
My favorite track is Christploitation but really, every song on this disc simply DESTROYS.
Everything that was great about Demanufacture is back and bigger and better.
It's heavy, it's fast, it's got the creepy keys and the creepy moaning vocals of Burton here and there.
This is simply the best disc Fear Factory has ever done and it BETTER NOT BE THEIR LAST!!!
Welcome back Dino, you really are the one who MADE this band what it was.
Gene and Byron bring a whole new intensity to FF that I've never heard before.
And lastly to all these bands that say that they can never do another album like the "old days".
I used to agree with them till I heard Mechanize.
If Fear Factory, after twenty years and constant in fighting can put out the album of their lives then what's YOUR excuse???
Mechanize is THE album on 2010. If FF doesn't get a grammy nod for this, then there IS no justice.
A masterpiece from start to finish.
Raw, brutal, unique and utterly devastating.
The return of Dino and the sound of his project Divine Heresy come through a bit in the form of straight heaviness, but it is really classic FF throughout. Shiny, clear production aside, these songs are killer. Maybe a bit too heavy in spots to be honest.
I wont break down all songs, but they all have that trademark heavy FF sound. Chugging riffs, rifle sounding drums and Burton Bell screaming out the lyrics. Some decent layered harmony vocals in some songs choruses. Think FF on steroids with a great mix and furious double bass drumming with faster, almost 'blast' beats here and there.
The last 2 tracks I could do without honestly. Thats why it gets its 4 rating. The first being a 1:30 intro and the other is 'Final Exit' which is a spacey, melodic track that isnt bad, but a real strange way to end such a heavy disc with the piano and soft singing. Reminiscent of the horrible 'Echo of my Scream' from 'Transgression'. Does have its heavy spots, but it doesn't do much except make you scratch your head and wonder. Fear Factory has done excellent melodic songs in the past but this isnt a good fit after such a brutal beating from the rest. The other 8 of 10 tracks are very good, heavy FF. I almost took a star off because its really only 9 tracks without the 1:30 intro piece. Even the standard version should have more music than that these days.
BUT, the absolute best track, and quite possibly one of the bands best ever, is 'Christploitation'. Incredible song. Has all the elements of the band. The creepy vibe, the machinery sounds, the catchy yet dark hook on the piano and incredible drums. Burton Bell spits the lyrics out with venom. The last minute of this track just explodes! It builds to an intense screaming vocal and crushing double bass. This track should have been the title of the CD as it is much better than the title track. Absolutely the best on here and they should have built the entire disc around it. Its blistering, memorable and dark. Co-written by Hoglan (the master of anti-Christian lyrics from the Dark Angel days, so I assume he wrote the lyrics). Has a great vibe, very 'Freedom of Fire'-esqu (from Obsolete). This song itself is worth the price of the disc and saved the solid 4 rating.
If you like FF's heavier side get it without hesitation. 8/10 tracks are very good. If you will download just a track or 2, definitely include 'Christploitation' in your downloading.
I've just edited my review because in reality I think Mechanize deserves 5 stars when you consider everything the band went through. Congratulations FF!