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The first track of Fear Factory's swansong basically sums it all up. What will become? The album for some will leave quite a bitter taste in the mouth and unfortuantly for the fans, the band was unable to make a new original record to get that taste out. Before I go into details on the tracks one, the first thing you will notice after you put this album into your cd player is the time of this disc. The Digipak version which includes 4 bonus tracks as well as the original 11 is only 56minutes long. That is an average of 3minutes and 45 minutes. Most Fear Factory songs are OVER 4 minutes not under. Yet on these 15 tracks only TWO songs are over 4minutes. This is indeed, as Raymond put it, "An album for those with short attention spans". Now to the songs.
"What Will Become?" is a typical Fear Factory intro. A slow begining that soon turns up the noise. Rhys Fulber does yet another amazing job with the electronics here and this Fear Factory album but be their greatest achievement in using Electronics. The problem is, when you do finally get into "What Will Become" it ends. But it just does not end but rather it has a child saying "us". For me this was uneccessary and takes away for the song. Sure, it might be less than a second but why did the band use it?
The next track "Damage" has once again amazing electronics and a great sounding chrous. However like the previous song when you are about ready to go on a killing spear the music ends and thus killing the moment. Do not get me wrong, the song is great, but it would have been so much better if it were just another 30seconds long. "Replica" was under 4 minutes but it was long enough to give you a complete feeling. "Damage" is good, but not complete.
"Digimortal", the title track, suffers from yet again the same fate as the previous two songs! It has a great chrous line with amazing clean vocals but ends far to quickly. The song is a little "poppy" sort of like Soilwork's latest release.
"No One" is probably the best song using this new "short attention span" theory. What makes this song different from the first 3 is that it FEELS complete. The song goes as long as it can but is still strong enough to keep its own. The bassdrum beats have never sounded better.
"Linchpin" might be the catchiest thing the band has ever done. The clean vocals sound a little too much like "Digimortal" and when you check the linear notes you will notice that there was some special vocal programming done for...well...you guessed it, "Linchpin" and "Digimortal". The song is nice but once again, just a tad too short. An extra 15seconds would have done wonders to this song.
"Invisible Wounds(Dark Bodies)" is a wonderful track starting out with a nice bassline and leading into mystical(yes thats right, mystical) synths and keyboards. The song sounds similar to "Descent" but has a different feel to it. The bridge in this song throws a monkey wrench into things but it actually completes the song well. The song is just under 4 minutes and that is a perfect length for this song. A job well done and it comes right in the middle of the album.
"Aches of Skin" is the heaviest song on the track resembling musicianship closer to "Soul of a New Machine". The drum track sounds great on this song and should not be overlooked. A very nice song that is unfortuantly followed up by,,,
"Back the F**K Up"...terrible. This is without a doubt the worst thing the band has ever done. This is a prime example of what should have been left on the drawing board. The song just stinks from the get go. Rapping has no place with Fear Factory or metal for that matter. The song is so terrible that the band lost 5 points just from one listen from this. The song alone almost ruined the whole disc. I cannot express my hatred for this song. Hear it once and just skip it from there on. The song doesn't even have good lyrics on top of that. You have been warned.
"Byte Block" is the best track on this album and the first one to go over 4 minutes. It has amazing song structure and great sounding vocals. This is one that I keep coming back. It's hard, it's heavy, it is Fear Factory. After hearing the putrid that is "Back the F**K up" this song picks up real nicely.
"Hurt Convoryer" is pretty much the same as "Aches of Skin" but with more use of synths and keyboards. The problem with this track is its placement. It does not belong as the next to last track. Look at "Obsolete" and "Demanufactured" notice how the next to last song has an epic ending. "Pisschrist" has its errie "Where is your savior now?" line and "Ressurecction" is easy on the ears and flows nicely to "Timelessness". This song does neither. It is good, but it does not flow well to...
"(Memory Imprints) Never End" is probably the best of the Fear Factory ballad endings. It is a little harder than their previous two endings but it has a very nice feel to it. This is the second of the over-4-minutes song. It is just an amazing song in which Rhys Fulber shows his talent. Without the keyboards and synths this would be just a regular song but with them it is something different.
Thus the album ends. I give it a 70, however, I did purchase the Digipack version. So I will now review those 4 and give you a total rating..
"Dead Man Walking" makes me wonder why this is a b-side. It pretty much follows the formula for the whole "short song" structure by why was it left off the original record. The chrous is great, the vocals are great, and the electronics are great. I would have much rather seen this over the dreaded "Back the F**k Up"
"Straind vs. Resistance" has a way more fast feel to it. It sounds like "New Breed" just not as hard. "New Breed" in my opinion was a good short song. That means this is as well. The chrous line is the most melodic thing on the record next to the token ballad. Still, its a strong song. Still makes me wonder why this is a b-side.
"Repentence" is the heavier of the b-sides. Once again it follows the strucutre of the whole album. Fast and to the point. Nothing amazing but well above average. Yet again this is a b-side? Who was putting this record together? The band or Roadrunner?
"Full Metal Contract" is an instrumental!?! Sounds pretty werid at first but its a nice track. I can see how this did not make the album as it really does not fit anywhere but...well...track 15. Nice and fast which one of the more original guitar riffs on the album.
Well the original version of Digimortal receives a 70 from me, but when you add in those 4 great tracks I think a rating of 75 should be apporpiate. So I will give this a 73. If the band had just left off that ONE song this could have been something stronger. Not exactly their strongest but at the same time how many bands write a great unexpected swansong. If you find it used you might want to consider.