Review: Fear Factory

Fear Factory
(Roadrunner Records)

A new Fear Factory album?  NO!  WRONG! This is never released before, original FIRST album, produced by Ross Robinson back in 1991.  The long time Fear Factory fan will recognize eight of the songs as they were re-recorded for their debut album “Soul of a New Machine”.  This is a must for any true Fear Factory fan.  It’s brutal, gruff and raw.  Burton hasn’t developed his ‘howl’ yet and is almost dismissible at times as just another gravel throated cookie-monster.  The band is still into blast beats treading into grind and death metal territory.  Mechanical sounds are (not so subtly) slapped over sections, hinting at the techo-hybrid their music would hit a crescendo with when they released ‘Obsolete’.  There is a brutality in a pummeling of sound on some of these 10 year old tracks that shadowed what a lot of today’s bands are still churning out as new metal.  The general song writing approach of ‘Concrete’ is pretty substandard fare compared to where the band ended up, but looking in hindsight, I find this little history lesson of a metal band quite interesting and worthy of digesting.  Even if won’t get yanked out of the pile as much as “Demanufacture”.  Now THAT’S some fucking Fear Factory.  But here are the roots.  Pulled from a time capsule and never heard before now.  What an affordable lesson in metal history.