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I understand why this album had to be made. But, my god, I can't understand why we had to listen to it. I counted all the riffs in this album...and there's one at the start of the title track. Really, the band keep playing it for forty five minutes and it never gets interesting. Or, if I'm being kind, there's the one that stutters and the one that doesn't, which is slightly better. I don't want to write a long intro, so I will summarise by saying that this is my least favourite metal album. And why is 'Demanufacture' so shit? Let's investigate.
The elements aren't too bad. Dino Cazares has a decent nearly-death metal guitar tone with a very throaty bass behind it and Raymond Herrera is a good drummer. The instrumentalists are given a strong, if somewhat dry, production. What they do with it is utterly worthless. The drums follow the guitars on every riff, bar none. I think that was Fear Factory's unique innovation, but I don't see the point, since it just turns everything into a super-percussive mess, without distinctive riffs or atmosphere. Of course, there are no solos. Yes, it sounds mechanical, but so does the clock in my bedroom and I didn't have to buy 'Demanufacture' to hear that.
The worst part is that Burton C. Bell's vocals add approximately nothing to the equation. His shout is flat and expressionless. It just sounds like someone shouting, which again I don't have to purchase - my dad does that. The cleans are a relief because they give a little bit of variation, though they aren't good in any sense, just a break from the monotony. The keyboards are actually very welcome, giving some nuance and variety to what is otherwise a few skilful toddlers breaking their toys. All this may sound unkind, but it's the most awfully repetitive album I've ever heard.
Picking out songs is tough. 'New Breed' is angrier than the others, so is a more intense blast, while 'H-K (Hunter Killer)' maybe makes it up to one and a half riffs. Then 'Dog Day Sunrise' sounds alright because it's much easier on the ears and doesn't employ the same bash and bash and BASH and BASH formula. It's the same with 'A Therapy for Pain', but that isn't particularly a song either, more like a dream that Peter Steele might have had when he was 15 (actually, that would probably have been a really cool dream, but basically it's a shit Type O Negative song). The other songs, taken on their own, might be okay, but together on an album blend into one big mess of drums and groove/industrial guitar. Having an average length of five minutes really doesn't help either, when the actual content is about five minutes for the entire album.
My advice: hit your head against a metal door for an hour to listen to the remix.
Fear Factory have really struck a chord as far as building an album that was meant to capture you're attention. Demanufacture is a jarring, destructive, mechanical hellride that will pummel you into the dirt without so much as a second listen. It's a new, original take on the Groove metal sound by adding heavy elements of electronica and industrial music to create this very mechanical, cybernetic sound. Back when this came out there was very little else like it, yet many bands in a similar style. It take the crushing groove riff techniques of bands like Machine Head and Pantera and blends it with the cybernetic and mechanical sounds of heavier bands such as Meshuggah and Strapping Young Lad to create a robotic behemoth capable of delivering an insidious, futuristic sound that would make you feel as though machine takeover is almost upon us.
The sound of the instruments delivers a hard, striking sound with a heavy amount of impact from all side and just emanates a sound of inbound destruction. The guitars go on their stop and go riffing and chords that play off the robotic themes of the album and give you the illusions that robots actually are playing them, as well as the other instruments. The drums are struck with an impactful, slamming punch that adds to the overall crushing sound of the album and also enhances the robot theme. Burton Bell's vocals show off their versatility and strength by giving out a low roar for most of his vocals but also goes down low into death growl range and also delivers operatic, yet droning clean vocals that also give the impression a machine was generating them. The small amounts of industrial effects used in songs such as Zero Signal, New Breed, and Pisschrist finalize and round this albums sound and theme out as one of robotic domination.
The songs are arranged with jolting chords making up most of the rhythms in this album. They are hard and vicious, yet catchy and charmingly simple. The riffs on Replica, Demanufacture, and H-K (Hunter-Killer) are some of the most engaging and memorable, yet stylistically simple chords I have heard out of this genre. The clean vocals delivered by Bell give a soaring and atmospheric feel to the songs in which they are used, most emphasized on the extremely ethereal A Therapy For Pain. Overall, the theme of robot overlords and a technological slave state coupled with the slamming, machine-like instrumentation adds to the cutting fantasy and smart mystique of the album and it's sound.
For an album and a band with a theme about them, they certainly do it well. Fear Factory have delivered us a crushing, menacing piece of robotic brilliance. This album has many highlights and follows and perfects it's themes with sleek production, futuristic themes, mechanical playing styles and instruments. Demanufacture is a solid and original piece of groove, industrial, and trace amounts of death metal blended together with surgical precision, thumping heaviness, deadly jackhammer and sliding riffs, and memorable catchiness. For those of you looking to see what some of the best of metal in the 90's was, give this mechanical monster a listen and get ready to go on a futuristic adventure.
Talk about utter brutality and annihilation in the sense of music of metal and variation. The whole of the release is totally intense and fueled with utter hatred, intensity, violence, and also at times severing away from the womb of metal where it doesn't seem like it's born. I mean in a sense that not everything here is totally brutal. There are times here that have utter atmospheric choruses and sheer perfection in the sense of sound plus production weaving it's metal way sifting through barriers and just severing the spirit equalling total metal invigoration, commencement, variability fueled with massive vibe of original metalish collection of tunes.
Baffled me my first hearing years ago, then hearing Obsolete and thinking this album surpasses that one much more intensely. What we have here is a B-tuning guitar that's filled with such heaviness and crunch, goes well along with the heavy grunted vocals with it's manifestation of utter originality not mention genius in songwriting essence. And album that can be heard totally tons of times and be like maybe no way that you can get tired of it because it includes so many variations and atmospheres. The band really came together with such great thoughts in the way of making sounds like never heard before.
Aggressive vocals most of the time and the guitar just thick, chunky (as previously stated), bar chord complexity alongside clean vocals that goes well with it during those periods amongst the synthesizers that are orchestrated during chorus bits or just amiable errants of ringtone vox paving it's way to metal in a fashion like no other. The music overall is a complexity in effect making it hard to pinpoint where the up and down swings land themselves in, keeping the listener interested because of such variability. A total metal album that just fuels the fire of exasperating feel to it that makes it dominant in all aspects.
Rating this album as a 100% is not off in any way because I hear just utmost sincerity of pure imagination. That imagination is not more important than what is real here. We have guitars hitting home with no leads, but just heavy guitar bits, vocals that vary up all of the time, drums that just pound into your cranium with the mixing of these instruments was just mystifying and so well done. The quality is totally there. Some of the songs seemed to indicate a lack of proper definition, but that's where they got experimental with sound. Not everything is considered to be pure metal supremacy, but more so a total outlet of an experience to hear when you're pissed off or just want sounds.
I'd have to conclude that the band as a whole really dominated in all aspects and Demanufacture is just a symbol of metal supremacy that's reinforced time and time again. Yes they did fool around with those wicked keys and not every song on here is totally with aggression, some with stagnant lack of perspiration, on the ones that make you sweat are the ones to capture the most of. Just taste a tune such as "Self Bias Resistor" and total imagination in writing achieves it's peak in complexity, tempo change and sheer metal domination. I'd say that this album as a whole was the bands best contribution to metal that they could've possibly achieved. Own this!
If you've ever heard of this album you'll notice it's sort of popular. Well, I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't know these guys actually wrote more than this album. The best way to put it is that this album is the "Hipster's Industrial Metal Album", but just like a new single from any irritating pop "artist", it's faded out. Probably because people woke up and realized that this album is awful.
We'll start with the vocals on this one. They sound very Max Cavalera-esque, and almost Justin Broadrick's Godflesh. Of course, these are just rip off's of it. Bell sounds like he's having issues when he sings. It's not pleasant on the ears and I listen to death metal too, so that says something. Trying to accurately portray his voice would involve a lot of unintelligent, the only way it's unintelligent is because he thought it was a good idea, screaming. The clean vocals are more bearable but it's hard to shine through the shit-smeared vocals commonly used. Ok, and the way he sings on "A Therapy For Pain" and "Replica". If you have a god start calling him awful because I cat being mutilated is more audibly pleasurable to a PETA member than Bell's vocals are on "A Therapy For Pain" to any human or should be to any human. He just sounds bad, plain and simple. Also, "A Therapy For Pain" is a tortuously long song. It's ten minutes but it drags on and on then they threw on some effects for two straight minutes and that's the worst song on the album in a nutshell.
The guitarists just sound uninspired. Seriously, the whole album is just palm muting and power chords. The same thing for three to five minutes. When "H-K (Hunter Killer)" started I almost expected to hear "Demanufacture" again. I've seen more variety from the various The Crow movies than these guys have when it comes to riffs. Any mongoloid can stand up there in a black t-shirt and cargo shorts, trying to look tough and fondling the guitar neck while they show off the one thousand palm-muting variations they came up with in their free time while head banging to the painful shouts of a man being beaten on stage. It's not impressive and it never will be. Maybe Fear Factory should just quit or change styles. As usual, the bass is buried under the mix. The drumming isn't as impressive as the guitars. It sounds like a drum machine was used since the music is very cut-and-paste oriented. Honestly, I'm just going to save you the same thing over and over because you'll hear it on the album if you don't heed my warnings to stay away.
The production is clear but the band probably needed it so you could hear just how repetitive the music is. There's a lot of effects on this album, but it's nothing to get excited about. It makes Bell's vocals sound worse, like on "Demanufacture". They also add no dynamic to the music. It's like they threw it in because they could not because it truly added anything. They appear in the form as pointless openers otherwise they're tossed in as is evident on "Demanufacture".
I don't like the lyrics on this album. The chorus to "Self Bias Resistor" is cheesy, especially paired with the clean vocals of Burton Bell accompanied with the annoying vocal effect. "Demanufacture" has some bad lyrics too. Espcially the "I've got no more goddamn regrets, I've got no more goddamn respect". Singing like that I'd imagine no one would respect you. Never have I heard anyone utter such foolish words such as "Burton Bell is a great vocalist" or "I draw inspiration from Burton Bell". The part that's worse is when he degenerates it into "Regrets, Respect". It sounds moronic, because it is. They seem to try and mix lyrical themes with something mechanic. It doesn't work and it looks like they tried too hard to make it sound cool. I also have to note on "New Breed" Bell sounds like he's chanting "War bred retard" and "New bride". Not even close to what the lyrics say.
Fear Factory tried too hard to be badass here on this album. These shit-smeared mongoloids have produced one of the worst metal albums to exist. The fame overshadowed the actual ability of the band. It faded out before they could ride it's coattails all the way back into social relevancy. Unless you, just like a one night stand, got drunk and got stuck with this forsaken problem-child are still listening to the other festering bowel movements they've released. If only you noticed it sooner then you could've aborted this fetal issue, but now you've let it get 17 years old and no one wants it. I don't recommend this album to anyone. Whether you're interested in listening to industrial metal or are and avid listener to industrial metal you can live without listening to it. I was going to be nicer to this album and give it a 2% but it wasn't even that good.
"I don't wanna live that way, I don't wanna live that way"- Burton Bell on Fear Factory's social relevancy.
Only a very few albums can be considered as essentials or revolutionary through the history of the metal scene. During the last decades an astonishing amount of works have been released, most of them mediocre, some of them excellent and a few of them masterpieces, but even less deserve the status of groundbreaking or revolutionary as I have said before.
Fear Factory´s sophomore album, the worldwide acclaimed Demanufacture is one of them. It is well known that the 90s were a time for a splendid evolution in the metal world, when the expansion of the range of styles were enormous and demostrated how metal music could be combined with an amazing variety of sounds. Los Angeles located band supposed the perfect example of this tendency. FF was the very first band who combined death metal growls, cutting riffs and extreme drums with electronic sounds, creating a new hybrid style. Today´s yet imitated Burton´s vocals (a combination of growls and clean voices), the precise and fast double bass drums patterns and the electronic atmosphere shocked all the fans who listened to their music at that time.
Demanufacture was born as the perfected version of this new style, where the band took the brutality from this debut, refinned the sound, added some ambient keyboards and created an amazing futuristic atmosphere. This addition was basic to reinforce the sense of their lyrics, which related to how a technological obsessed civilization had lost its humanity and was destroyed by the machines they had created. The album begins with an instant classic, the homonym song, the atmospheric synthetizer mixed with the initial riff and double bass drum is legendary and the perfect definition of the band. The song itself is a crushing continuation of low tunned riffs, tremendous drums and the charismatic vocals which flow from the semi-growls to the amazing clean vocals.
The first part of the cd is absolutely unbeatable. The second song, Self Blias Resistor, is even heavier, and has an amazing final chorus. Zero Signal is one of the most futuristic songs with an amazing atmosphere and a touching final piano. Following these ones we find the most famous composition of the band, Replica, being sincere is not one of their best songs but it is straightforward and has a killer chorus, it was the perfect single and was presented with an original video.
The second part of the work maintains the great level although there are not songs as good as the first ones until we reach almost the end. When Pisschrist begins an industrial anthem smashes our brains, believe me this song is tremendous!. In my opinion it should be considered as the most dramatic, dark an epic piece ever created by these guys. The beginning is very characteristic with the industrial intro and Herrera´s impassive drums, Burton sings here amazingly and with a great ferocity and the rhytmic guitars are very mechanic and hammering. But the best is yet to come, the final chorus is absolutely marvellous, the clean vocals sound apocalyptic, and the keyboards create a dark and majestic atmosphere. All finishes with the repetitive and frightening chorus “ Where is your saviour now?”. Absolutely tremendous!
In conclusion this album has not only been considered as a masterpice but also as a landmark in the metal music scene, being a reference to the next generations. A must have!!
The 90's was an exciting time for Metal just as much as the 80's folks. Stop bullshitting yourselves into thinking everything about 90's Metal was bad...it was just the last quarter or so of the decade that seemed fucking hopeless but for the majority so many new roads were paved and if there is one road which was paved well, so well that only 1 or 2 bands that can go down on it could not be re-produced by any means. That road was paved by Ministry with their untouchable album "Pslam 69". The only other band that could travel down is none other than Fear Factory. If "Pslam 69" was a dirty drag car hopped-up on speed, then "Demanufacture" is a huge war-torn tank slowly destroying everything in it's path. Fuck Meshuggah, they started almost and found out that they should have taken a left turn at Alberquerque.
1995's "Demanufacture" is THE Industrial Metal album to own. Everything about the album is right on target; the album, lyrical themes, musical composition, sound production, energy, and level of agression has yet to be matched by majority of the bands out there these days. Imagine all those classic sci-fi movies you know and remember; "Terminator" series, "Blade Runner", "Aliens", etc. Imagine the desolation and freezing darkness those movies projected. Fear Factory takes all that and induces it ten-fold. And in some weird way, Fear Factory even gives a history lesson and a glimpse into the future on Industrial music in general....I'll go more into that idea later on. They clearly wear their influences on their sleeves and are not afraid of showing the direction of where aggressive music was headed towards.
The musicians on here are hitting on all creative cylinders. The stand-out performance of Dry Lung Vocal Matyr singer Burton C. Bell did something which no other band had done before. Combining screaming/shouting verses that are clearly inspired by Godflesh/Napalm Death's Justin Broadrick and melodic choruses that would put a smile on Killing Joke's apocalyptic madman Jaz Coleman. Burton's melodic singing is so well-sung that the first few listens you are left with goosebumps. Guitarist Dino Carzares's riffs are well-constructed Death/Thrash metal riffs but appear to be a more down-tuned Ministry. Although Christian Olde Wolbers is credited as bass duties, Dino does all bass duties on here. And last but not least is drummer Raymond Herrera....motherfuck...if there is one drummer to be credited for triggered drums, it's him. No other band maybe besides Morbid Angel were using triggered drums for the most part for the first half of the 90's. Raymond's drums directly influenced the machine-gun drumming. At first I had to double check to see if they weren't using a goddamn .50 caliber machine gun.
Sound production is handled by both Colin Richardson and Front Line Assembly's mainman Rhys Fulber. I seriously believe that Colin Richardson had nothing to do with this album because if it weren't for Rhys' Industrial/Techno background and touch this album would be very skeletal in just drums/guitars/vocals. Rhys' takes his futuristic profession to an entire new level on this album and was definately influenced by FF as well on future albums with Front Line Assembly. In essence, Fear Factory may have changed the entire course of Industrial music. Remember what I said earlier...ok, now stay with me on this one; The bands influences are clearly Godflesh, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Head of David(obviously do to their choice of cover), Loop, Killing Joke, etc.etc.etc. To any person who doesn't know, they are already being exposed to a lot of the pioneers in the Industrial genre and anyone in the know of Industrial music can see where the genre is headed for both the Metal and Industrial genres. Keyboardist Rhys Fulber on board providing keyboards and enhancing the Industrial tone, and again a total Catch-22 situation having FF influencing FLA, the teaming of two extremes altered the future. Think about it. Does anything industrial post 1993-1995 sound anything like before? Absolutely not. Most bands left the stark bleakness and depressive misanthropy behind. Skinny Puppy came down off their cocain high, Swans went more melodic/ambient. FLA started dabbling in wimpy dance Electronic crap and even tried introducing guitars. Ministry started sucking. And Godflesh started to become more boring. Fear Factory to the best of what was and put it to a level of agression hat even the founders of the Industrial genre couldn't match in comparison(except for Killing Joke). Even Metal suffered the same fate. Just how many bands these days are using triggered drums? How many bands are using the same start/stop palm-muted riffs mixed with machine gun-like double bass? And don't even get me started on how Fear Factory beat every single band to the shout verses and clean choruses by at least 10 years. Point being...Fear Factory may have set everyone back for at least the next 50 years.
The songs don't stop coming. Oh Allah have mercy on us all, the songs don't fucking stop at all. The opening title track "Demanufacture" sums everything up on the album. In fact it's obvious that the album is the standard man v.s. machine concept; A society crumbling apart and on a downward spiral into violence, hatred and corruption. Burton's lyrics are so fucking anti-establishment and hate-filled it sounds like he's suffering from a bad case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But considering the band lived in Los Angeles in the early nineties and were prone to experience the riots, lootings, gang wars, drive-by shootings, earthquakes, and everything else that would make a regular person snap and go postal like Michael Douglas in "Falling Down", it's not too surprising that his lyrics are the every-day soundtrack to someone who is fucking fed-up with everything and wants the bullshit to stop. Burton C. Bell even goes into the person's failing faith in a god that is supposed to provide some answers to his cry out for help in songs like "Zero Signal" where is shows that this miserable bastard is suffering not only externally but internally as well. The tear-inducing "Piss Christ" follows the same dealings with the absence and questioning of the the almighty which provides us with notion that maybe we just made the biblical messiah up for the hell on Earth that we create. The album ends with the person can no longer stand against it all and must accept defeat and failure (A Therapy For Pain) and longs for death because it's the only peace the album's character will ever experience.
I could go on and on on how great and genre-defying this album is, but then again I couldn't because it would sound like I'm repeating or others whom have reviewed this album, but fortunately for Fear Factory, no other album has come close to the level of agression and unfortunately for themselves they haven't either. "Demanufacture" is a glimpse into a violent future.
2. Self Bias Resistor
3. Zero Signal
6. Dog Day Sunrise (Head of David cover)
9. HK (Hunter-Killer)
Fear Factory’s sophomore effort „Demanufacture“is one of those albums that split the industrial fan base in two. There are those who praise it to the high heavens for being an album that “pushed the boundaries of industrial metal” and those who call it “the first misstep in a series of failures”. Both opinions don’t really match mine. “Soul of a New Machine” was a lot more unconventional when it came out three years earlier, yet on the other side, “Demanufacture” is definitely not a “sell-out”, as the band is still instantly recognizable and clearly able to write coherent songs.
Let’s give this album a closer look; production-wise it sounds a lot cleaner, more polished and just overall more professional than its predecessor, without loosing the razor-edge guitar sound of earlier times. The technical proficiency of the band members has risen quite tremendously, therefore allowing them to put the emphasis on more machine-esque songwriting (precise rhythm sections, machine gun-drumming, etc.) which has become the trademark sound of this band up to this day.
The compositions seem to be simpler than before, but only at first glance; “Soul of a New Machine” had lots of songs with few riffs in them. But their shortness made them sound more diverse than they actually were. Don’t get me wrong though, this band never was about “how many riffs can I stuff into a one minute song?” and that’s why this can’t be considered a riff-fest from beginning to end. If you want that, industrial metal might just not be your thing.
Speaking of which, the amount of electronic experiments has risen as well (the Godflesh and Ministry influences are definitely audible), which makes “Demanufacture” sound less one-dimensional than the album before it. Diversity is not lacking here, as the songs can be distinguished from each other easily.
Bell’s clean voice appears a lot more regularly and has clearly gotten better with experience. He’s one of the reasons why this album always retains its catchiness – especially in the choruses (Replica is probably the best example for a heavy, but accessible song). His harsh vocal-style has definitely lightened up a little, as it’s not nearly as guttural as it’s been in the past; quite a downer for some, including me, as his voice techniques here remind one of 90s hardcore more than anything else. Calling “Demanufacture” industrial death metal is an oxymoron anyway as the death metal influences are kept to a minimum over its whole duration.
I guess there isn’t much left that hasn’t been said about this album. It’s just a catchy and quite entertaining industrial metal album for those craving for a short blast of simple and undemanding brutality once in a while. Only recommended in full to those who can live with an album that becomes somewhat stale when being consumed regularly. To those who can’t, just download “Zero Signal”, “Replica” and “Pisschrist” and you’re set.
Fear Factory’s second album is pure boring. It’s more industrial metal meeting their sci-fi and hate lyric theme while Burton Bell is screaming at the top of his lungs for every song. And listening to it all wears you out!
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not so terrible that it is almost impossible to listen to. It’s just that the way it’s put together with the vocals and over the top bass mixed with lame ass guitar makes it tiresome to listen to. And the drumming, it sounds the same on almost every song. It’s like he is playing the same song over and over while new vocals and guitar goes over it. To sum what I just said up, if you hear anyone of the songs on the album, expect to hear it ten more times if you buy the album.
Now because of how all eleven songs sound the same, you will get very bored listening to the entire album in one sitting. The guitarist does nothing but power cords. And that means no riffs. And to make things worse, the power cords are played on what sounds like only two of the strings.
The vocals…I hate the vocals. Burton Bell is not a good vocalist. He is mediocre at best. His mediocre mallcore like screams bring out an “I’m 16 and I’m angry at my father,” vibe. This is very bad when it comes to singing in a metal band.
To sum this entire album up, BORING! Every song is the exact same in vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. The only people I can see buying this album are the die hard Fear Factory fans. And they might not even like it that much. If you hear one song on this album, that is the entire album. This album is a pass.
Deathy grindings and epic riffage meet sci-fi techno wizardry in this masterpiece.
The title of industrial metal king is hotly contested, and with Nine Inch Nails "The Downwards Spiral", Marylin Manson "Antichrist Superstar", Ministry "Psalm 63" and Rammstein "Mutter" battling for the techno-metal crown, it won't be an arguement that'll die down soon. However, as far as I'm concerned, the genre reached it's apex with Fear Factory's revered "Demanufacture". Here was an album that did the techno, and the metal, to perfection, balancing them wonderfully, while bringing each to the fore when it suits them. Which can only be a good thing considering that this was made while others were simply doing dance music with guitars and the occasional death roar.
This was FF's first industrial album, as they were previously a death outfit, but it is handled with such finesse that it puts them up with the masters. They claimed to want to make a "Futuristic" metal album, and to that effect they've succeeded. The guitars, courtesy of the now-legendary Dino Cazeras, are huge; they're rich, bassy and epic. They match the electronics perfectly, and the drummer is so good that it was initially thought that FF used a drum machine. The combined sound washes over the listener, leaving you breathless and hungry for more.
The vocals, however, are something else entirely; the screams are unlike anything even a seasoned metal fan will have heard before. They are oddly hoarse, not as deep as death metal bands, but deeper than most metalcore bands. You can make out what the words are, and the singing is equally unique, so deep, it's hard to decide whether Burton Bell is a good singer or not, but it compliments the guitars perfectly. The album goes at the kind of pace and progression only a concept album can, and each song is an instant classic, particularly "Replica" and "Flashpoint". A cover of Head Of David "Dog Day Sunrise" seems out of place but the appeal grows over time.
However, the greatest thing about this album is it's almost cyberpunk feel; with it's drum'n'bass-slash-metal mixture, Dave McKean cover art and man-versus-machine storyline, it's like a music equivalent of "The Terminator", "The Matrix" or "Ghost in the shell". Yes, this marrage of meaty riffs and techno beats still sounds fresh today. This is the closest Industrial music will ever come to a true marriage of beeps and metal.
Clever, epic and futuristic, this has survived the 10 years since it's inception and still sounds cutting edge today.
EDIT (6/607): My original rating was a little high, so I fixed it.
I'm actually not sure what all the hype over this album is about. I picked it up recently since I remembered having enjoyed the song "Self Bias Resistor" only to find out that I had already heard the best the album had to offer.
The fact of the matter is, if you've heard one song on this CD, you've really heard them all. Sure they all have some small thing that sets them apart from the others, but in general there just isn't much variety here. Same basic formula: some speedy (but triggered-sounding) drumming, catchy (but repetive) guitar riffs, absolutely no bass (reminds me of Metallica's ...And Justice For All album in that respect), keyboards and samples here and there (to add industrialness?), and mediocre growling plus some instances of clean singing. That's about it.
As for the music itself, I'll get my complaints out of the way first. The vocals are pretty bad. If you're going to do a death growl, do it right. The shouting that Burton Bell does just grates on my nerves. It sounds like death growls watered down enough that they have an edge, but won't scare the mallcore kiddies (that's another thing...this album is BARELY metal). Maybe I'm just a purist.
Another problem I have is the fact that they didn't add Christian Olde Wolbers' bass track to the final mix. Oh, they did? I certainly couldn't tell. Bass isn't as important in metal as the other instruments, but you can really tell when it isn't there. In this case it really detracts from the sound. I think the songs here would come off quite a bit better in concert.
The only other complaint is, as I said before, all the songs are pretty formulaic. But then again, some bands are just like that (*cough* Black Dahlia Murder *cough*)...you learn to live with it.
That having been said, the music on here isn't all bad. There are some songs that really do stand above the rest ("Self Bias Resistor" first and foremost) and it's a good disc to bang you head to in small doses. And when Bell is clean-singing, it sounds oddly cool.
This isn't a CD I would recommend buying, but listen to the title track, "Self Bias Resistor," and "Replica" and see what you think.
I honestly cannot began to understand why the majority of people who have reviewed this Demanufacture are having orgasms over it. Other than a couple of songs that are enjoyable the rest of the CD soon becomes monotonous dribble.
The band makes good use of the industrial metal and death metal elements on this CD. For once in an industrial metal CDs damnation is not caused by the lead singer distorting his vocals so he sounds like a raped robot. For that listen to Blutrausch's "Legions of the Sky".
Instead, where this albums damnation comes from is that it doesn't stand the test of time. During my first ten listens of this CD I too thought it was one of the greatest industrial CDs ever. All of the instruments on this CD had a near perfect use of unity and harmony. The distortion of the guitars only helped to enhance the CD. The additional programming used in this CD also helped it. The drumming of course was coursing with a few double dumbeats, but none the less it maintained the beat of the songs.
Sadly however the CD has now become too boring and too repetive for my personal tastes. Anytime I'm in the mood for industrial metal I'll put on this CD and trudge through the four songs I still enjoy, but then I turn it off just as quickly as I turned it on still craving for some industrial metal.
Fear Factory's "Demanufacture" is much like the bread of a staple heavy metal diet. Everyone needs to own this CD, but repeat listening of it might prove to be too difficult.
Stand Out tracks:
Dog Day Sunrise
H-K (Hunter Killer)
There is a point in a band’s career where everything they lay down in the studio just oozes class. It is a time when a band is tighter than a bowstring and more together than the brickwork on the great wall of china. For fear factory this time arrived in 1995 with their opus ‘Demanufacture’.
Having blasted onto the scene in 1992 with their album ‘Soul of a new machine’ which has been described as a fusion of ‘Godflesh’ and ‘Loop’. The term crossover, usually reserved for thrash and hardcore bands like ‘Cryptic Slaughter’ suddenly became the description for death metal band Fear Factory. In 1995 the band moved away from this harsh and rasping death sound to a more apocalyptic and sinister industrial-esque sound, exploring more keys and time signatures than their previous release.
The album kicks right in with its title track ‘Demanufacture’, you are treated at the start to the sound of something akin to a machine bursting into life laid over the top over a sharp ‘Blade Runner’ style keyboard soundtrack. Then out of nowhere comes a deep and powerful double bass attack courtesy of drummer Raymond Hererra. Burton’s vocals sound really melodic in a dark and creepy way with the lines ‘Desensitized by the values of life…’ after barely even ten seconds of this his voice explodes into a thunderous ripping voice that attempts to flay you alive. The songs ferocious pace never lets up and leaves the listener glued to their seat.
The transition into the second song is surprisingly smooth with a sudden drum assault that signifies the opening of ‘Self-bias Resistor’. The opening vocal line of ‘Hey you! Wake up!’ instantly takes effect and as the guitar and bass come into play you cannot help but start to head bang. As we reach the chorus we are treated to some beautiful melodic vocals while behind Burton’s back the rest of the band goes postal. The song ends with yet more melodic vocals and displays an energetic metal assault on the senses.
Third track ‘Zero Signal’ begins in truly eclectic style with an odd warped sound that sounds akin to a person in a wind tunnel. Straight after this the sound of some crackling energy takes over the scene and is followed by a swift and crisp guitar tapping tone, while at the same time keys supplement the recording to make it sound even more science fiction in its nature. The song seems to paint the picture of a person losing faith in everything and is conveyed via a machine that starts to fail and fall into dust. Besides the opening verse Burton’s vocals are very melodic and angelic and this leads out with a piano solo that sounds almost majestic to the ear.
At this point having a fusion of the ferocious and the experimental Fear factory unleashes the slower and more single material song ‘Replica’, which later became the band’s first song to have a promotional video that wasn’t just live feed of their gigs. The song kicks in with Burton screaming ‘Huh!’ and immediately afterwards Raymond attacks his snare drum before leading into the song. Besides the drumming this song just seems so mellow and calm, even Burton’s screams seem more sedate and calm. Lyrics wise it seems to talk about how society is becoming polarised into one mentality, like a horde of replica’s being made into the system.
The next track can only be described as brutal, ‘New Breed’ is almost an anthem of seething hatred and the burning desire to rise and fight back. Its chorus of ‘born, bred beaten! New breed!’ just wants to smash you full in the face. The guitar tone is very dirty and powerful while the bass sounds like an electronic pulse, as if this is not enough a constant cyclone of keyboard effects is blown all across the track. The drums are very swift indeed with some blindingly quick double bass drumming during the chorus. Some may say this is repetitive on its own, but as part of a flowing album it fits perfectly.
‘Dog day Sunrise’ is the perfect middle-album song, in effect this is an interlude. It starts with a very Gary Numan esque keyboard intro followed swiftly by a simple and mellow drum pattern. A cover song, this is very mellow and almost like an entirely different entity. Burton’s vocals do not enter the harsh realm at any time, while Dino’s guitar tones sound exceptionally crisp. As a song in its own right it is quite weak, yet it just merges very well with the flow and it is nice to hear a totally different sound to the machine.
So after the interlude you hear a small intro and figure you are in for an easy ride, but then a sharp and distorted guitar tone sounds over the system. And a single bass drum rhythm counts in the track in a foreboding manner. Yet ‘Bodyhammer’ is a surprisingly easy on the ear tune, its pretty heavy, yet not in a sludgy and incoherent way. The mix is kind of weird with Burton’s vocals sounding quiet even though he is obviously doing his vox as loud as he can. Often in the background you hear keys which are akin to a blacksmith smashing his hammer against an anvil. A great song once it gets going.
With the heavy track that is ‘bodyhammer’ in the back pocket we move onto the 8th song which begins with the sound of electricity and almost like a lightning storm, Raymond then supplies us with a powerful snare intro before Christian and Dino attack their instruments. Burton lets loose on this song raging about lies and how they are like gasoline ready to ignite. ‘Flashpoint’ is the shortest song on the album but one of the more interesting, 1:45 and suddenly the thing changes time totally with Burton giving some awesome clean vocals over a simple guitar assault and just when you think it will be mellow the drums are smacked apart by Raymond and the song explodes all over again, ‘flashpoint’ how very apt a title.
The next track, ‘H-K (hunter Killer)’ begins with a very melancholic keyboard synth that sounds like the start of ‘Demanufacture’ and then over this there is the sound of people talking into radios about guns, cops? Could be, but whatever it is it lures you into a false sense of security as the song rips directly into life. Heavy drumming is fused with floating keys before the guitars rip the song by the throat and start to shred it. Burton opens up the verse with a very angry set of vocals before starting to rip the record apart come the chorus. The song is just damned infectious with the line ‘I am a criminal!’ being a guaranteed sing along! As the voices of the radios start again the song returns from its mellow hiatus and shreds once more, probably the finest song on the entire album.
With the bands bitterness at its highest point we move onto the final stretch of the album in the form of the song ‘Pisschrist’. Well no explanation necessary, quite obviously this is about the disenchantment of religion, it kicks straight in from the end of ‘H-K’ with the sound of bells which have been industrialised to sound like a line of miners chipping at stone. The song sounds so sinister and dark made even more so with lines such as ‘Look to the sky on judgement day.’ Burton’s vocals still manage to convey that perfect sound between harsh and cleaner, while the guitars are made to sound like a conveyor belt that has a spanner jammed beneath it.
And so we reach the end, from the outro of ‘pisschrist’ we are drawn into the 9 minute epic ‘A therapy for pain’ this is totally removed from the rest of the album musically, it is totally calm, even more so than ‘Dog Day Sunrise’, the song talks about someone giving into the inevitably of death and the soundtrack is of a machine failing on its last legs. Burton’s vocals are very macabre and powerful while the other guys serenade his fall into the darkness with some very tight but at the same time beautifully twisted musical melodies. Like ‘Timelessness’ at the end of ‘Obsolete’ this song just ends it on a majestical note that while nowhere near brutal, possibly even nowhere near metal it sounds beautiful. And with the falling industrial soundtrack the album reaches its climax via a set of very dark, almost organ-like keyboard synths, listen in a darkened room and feel yourself letting emotions go with the music.
This album is much more than just music, you can really feel the energy that went into the lyrics, the all out poetry of the percussion, everything that makes the totally innovative and musical experience that is ‘Demanufacture’. This album contains no guitar solos at all, it doesn’t need them, rather than out of context guitar shredding Fear factory have managed the impossible by fusing dark industrial keys and mechanistic tones to create something that sounds like it could easily be the soundtrack for a movie like ‘Total Recall’. Some people claim this is not tr00 enough, others call it not brutal, some even call it mallcore. They are all talking from their anus, this album is one of the metal classics and is an essential purchase for anyone who is interested in heavy metal. Intelligent concepts are moulded to dark musical themes and the production gives a very distant and inhuman feel, which does nothing but enhance the musical experience on offer. There is nothing else that need be said this is a very deserving metal classic that everyone should own, simple as that!
Fast drumming is nice- very nice. Pretty nice vocals are nice- pretty nice, meh riffs are ok- but not very. And thats really what we have here, who really cares about the bass? Me. Its good. I remember when I heard that Dino wrote all the bass lines, and the riffs- I figured that the band was dead with him gone. Apparently those rumors were COMPLETELY false, hell, I bet Christian wrote the fucking riffs. Archetype is better, I'll say that.
I remember hearing so many things about how this album is this, how its awesome, how its that and how its "Essential." None of that really came to be here, its mediocre in my book, and aside from maybe a couple above average tracks (Replica and H-K, and maybe Body Hammer), its just another album.
My problem isnt really with the musicinaship, but how people raved about it, because while its pretty good, its not "Essential" in ANY way. Maybe for someone who likes pretty good metal on industrial standards- but if I wanted that, I'd go back and listen to ...and Oceans' third release, Am God. Its what this album should have been, but in its own style.
Some would say thats exactly what it is, others like myself say any music can be the same but with a different take on it- sort of like covers. Now, once again I'm not saying I don't like it, but that its not perfect and not horrible, but too raved. The drumming is top notch stuff, some of the riffs are too, the bass lines are sick, the vocals are cool, catchy, and simple in the good way- but the lyrics can get repetitive (see New Breed), so thats a bit of a let down in itself. The electronics and the "industrial" elements used are real nice to hear, and fit well with everything.
Note how I say I like all the musicianship, but the songs themselves are only OK. I would definatly reccomend this, as it IS pretty good, but it dosn't deserve the title alot give it.
Lets get this out of the way right now: This is Fear Factory's greatest release easily. Hell, this is probably one of the best metal albums of all time. I haven't heard many albums as super as this one and I doubt I ever will. I also doubt Fear Factory will ever reach this level again.
Anyways... FF started off being a somewhat bland death metal band which threw in melodic vocals. But this album they arose to so much more. The growls were exchanged for angry yelling, and the melodic vox was cleaned up. Machine Gun percission drumming was also introduced, as well as alot of industrial influences. The band made quite the change, and it was all for the better.
The album opens with the title track, Demanufacture. The song is aboslute badass. Nearly every song on this album IS badass, with the exception of two (Flashpoint and ¡Resistancia!). The epic "Pisschrist" which features the most beautiful closing I've ever heard, the catchy "Replica" which is good for working out, the fast and furious "H-K" which will really get your addrenalin going, to an industrial fest you can dance to like New Breed. There's so much positive things to say about this album I don't even know where to start.
Standout tracks are "Demanufacture", "Self Bias Resistor", "Replica", "H-K", and "Pisschrist". But calling them the standouts isn't really fair, as nearly all of the album is superb. If this album isn't in your collection I suggest adding it as soon as possible, you won't be disappointed.
I'm still debating in my mind whether I enjoy Remanufacture, the techno remix version of this album, or the original. Right now, I'm leaning more on the original. While the remix album is often faster and groovier, it's just laughable in its blatant nonchalance and unmetalness.
Wow, this album just shreds. Not literally, mind you, as Fear Factory are no Symphony X, but the sheer power and aggression on this album is so intense, it makes many death metal bands look like pussies, IMO. I know I'll take a lot of heat for saying that, but it's something about the guitar tone on this monster that puts even some death metal bands, at least old school ones, to shame.Cazares isn't trying to make the most brutal music in the planet, like many a death metal band does, but he has truly found a one-of-a-kind tone to his playing, the likes of which I haven't found in any other band to date, not even Strapping Young Lad... though they come close.
On Demanufacture, Fear Factory abandons their death metal roots and instead opts for a more industrial/groove sound and I must say I like this more than any death metal I've heard(save for Nile). There are still obvious traces of death metal in their sound, namely Bell's grunty shouting and ranting, the drumming, and some blastbeats, but death metal isn't really the focus. I like to call their style cybernetic apocalyptic thrash/death metal. That may be an exaggerated moniker, but the band has such a unique sound. The only other band I feel consistently inclined to compare/contrast FF to is Meshuggah, as the bands' styles are somewhat similar.
Demanufacture begins the album and it's pretty much straight-up nilihistic industrial metal. Nothing especially prominent about it, but it sets up the stage for the apocalypse and the story line about the fall of the human race. Fear Factory seems to have a knack for unveiling human nature and foibles in their lyrics.
Self-Bias Resistor comes next and it experiments with more interesting rhythms and such. Gosh, I love some of the song titles FF comes up with. It's like they're intentionally trying to make the titles sound like robots. Neato.
Zero Signal is the following song, which was used on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack. I'm not sure whether the song was used for this album first, or the soundtrack first, although it's not relevant. This is arguably the finest track on the album. Beginning with eerie factory noises and slow grinding guitar riffs, it explodes into a total fury of galloping bass and drum playing and bludgeoning, mighty-quick industrial metal, with a great uplifting chorus to boot.
Replica, New Breed, and Dog Day Sunrise are all sub-par, especially Dog Day Sunrise, which is mostly devoid of good riffing and consists of monotonous vocals and lyrics.
Body Hammer kicks things into gear with more pounding aggression, both vocally and musically. Burton C. Bell is one of the best damn vocalists on the planet. I swear. He just has an amazingly gruff rant/shout that will most likely incite anger and rebellion in even the most reserved bookworm. He accents much of the notes he sings as well, which makes the song that much more fun and ass-kicking. His singing voice is awesome too, often sounding akin to a Benedictine monk( a vocal trait that Tiamat's vocalist Johan Edlund shares, but perhaps is more prominent in him), and adding great relief from his harsh ranting.
Flashpoint continues the trend of all-out war on your senses, as does H-K(Hunter-Killer), which has an awesome syncopated rhythm. Arguably better than it is the remix of it, T-1000, on Remanufacture. It's much faster and the bass is BOOMING.
Pisschrist is next, and it is more experimental in nature, opting more for atmosphere and synth than guitar fury. It's still great, and it has one of the most blasphemous titles ever. Again, listen to the remix of the song on Remanufacture. Quite awesome as well, with undoubtedly more emphasis on the synth.
Closing this opus is A Therapy for Pain, which is very tranquil and experimental in nature as well. It doesn't really stand out, but it's good to have some mid-tempo/slow songs to balance things on an album of such chaos. I had always wanted to hear the original versions of the songs on Remanufacture and compare and contrast them. I suggest that everybody pick up Remanufacture as well, especially the people that already own this disc. I just think it would be interesting for people to see how the band can so drastically alter their music and make it something danceable. Metal purists should stay away, but otherwise, pick up Remanufacture as well. As for Demanufacture, it should be considered a classic in metal and should be owned by many a metalhead. I hate saying that every metalhead should own this, because the style isn't for everybody, but metalheads who aren't particularly honed into one genre or subgenre should definitely purchase this gem.
When I wandered into the record store on a rainy afternoon a few years ago, not knowing what I intended to buy, I spotted this album on the shelf, and not knowing what to expect, I took a chance and purchased it. I remember this really angsty chick in my eighth grade class that was obsessed with Fear Factory, so I guess I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about.
Anyway, this album is filled with excellent, Industrial-esque drum and guitar work, but it has much more of a watered down death metal feel to it, overall. Raymond Herrera does such a great job with the double bass that I'd be hard pressed to find a formidable contender. Burton Bell's vocals are yelled with a very throaty rasp to them, sort of like a white version of Max Cavalera, but better (I guess). As for the bass, I didn't notice any outstanding qualities about it, but it's sufficient.
In closing, you can't really go wrong with this album, especially compared to the band's later work. Some of the tracks may sound like filler next to the excellent Zero Signal and New Breed, but don't let that deter you. Fear Factory seemingly showed promise with this album, but God knows what caused them to transition into a typical Nu-Metal band (Gee, maybe their label, Roadrunner records?).