Fear Factory are back! After Dino Cazares had left the band, due to the infamous "personal differences" and didnīt have any contact with singer Burton C.Bell for years, Fear Factory released two more albums, "Archetype" and "Transgression", but it just wasnīt like it used to be without him. Luckily things eventually changed in 2008, when they got in contact again and Burton decided to break the silence. Reunion was imminent and thus Burton, Cazares, Byron Stroud and drummachine Gene Hogland started to compose new stuff. They had one quite ambitious aim, as they wanted to live up to earlier success and write the follow-up of "Demanufacture". "Mechanize" is thus the result of the reunited "creative department" of Fear Factory: Bell and Cazares, who, like Burton said "simply need each other, else thereīs something missing". With that being said, letīs have a look of the result of the "re-union".
The Opener "Mechanize" starts with shots and goes over into good old FF staccato-riffing and machine-like drumming. The latter one is a good keyword, since Mr Gene Hoglan is already blasting as if his life was at stake, fast and ultra precise. Burton seems to have found back to old strenghth with his vocals as well and shouts, screams and barks through the song as if there was no tomorrow.
Simply a great, cold, mechanized sound, just like itīs supposed to be. Hope you warmed up, because the madness continues in the impellent "Industrial Discipline", that speedens up the whole thing and clean vocals can also be heard for the first time. "Fear Campaign" and "Powershifter take basically the same line. Especially the latter one can score with thundering instruments once again, guitars and drums almost start a fight with their riffing/staccato drumming thunder. "Always question authority, control my own destiny", shouts Bell and starts with hymnal singing, which get stuck in your ears pretty fast! While weīre already talking about hymnal stuff, the following "Christploitation" fits just perfectly with its intro of orchestral keyboard arrangements, that also appears in the background as the song goes on, adding some almost nightmarish atmosphere to the whole song - a chance to take a breath in all this massaker, if you may say so. Well, this calmness lasts only as long until this song slowly starts taking up speed again and the brutalness begins anew.
The industrial drill continues blazing a trail through the auditory canals and just with the same thoroughgoingness "Oxidizer" proceeds, though a bit more complex and with more brutal vocals, that have a touch of Death Metal to them. This brings back memories of the good old days!
After another round of fast stuff in "Controlled Demolition", FF start not only to slow down, but also to weaken a bit - "Designing The Enemy" is quite a calm, almost balladesk song. With "Metallic Division" it seems as if they get their act together again and end the musical bombardement after about 45 minutes with "Final Exit". This is once again a ballad, really calm, very melodic, nearly no brutal sounding instruments. Almost scarring sound arrangements throughout the album, a calm song, thatīs almost made for relaxing towards the end of the album - what a mixture!
There surely are some weaker songs or parts of songs on "Mechanize", but overall, itīs a more than solid album, that has to offer some killer hooks, melodies and songs. Songs that bring back memories of albums like "Demanufacture", "Obsolete" and Co in short: "Mechanize" can simply offer the sound, that fans want to hear when going for Fear Factory. Impellent drums, staccato riffing, booming bass sound and so on - simply some mechanical cold industrial sound. Fear Factory ARE back after 5 years, finally!