without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Nu-metal, from 1996-2002 record labels such as Roadrunner encouraged their roaster to experiment with the worse music trend since hair metal. As a result we have Sepultura’s Roots (1996), Machine Head’s The Burning Red (1999) and Supercharger (2001), Soulfly’s debut (1998) and Primitive (2000), and Fear Factory’s Digimortal (2001).
Being a Fear Factory fan since Demanufacture (1995), I was surprised to hear Digimortal. Yes, Obsolete (1998) had some nu-metal moments but nothing significant. To be honest, the turntables on Edgecrusher really added to the song. Unlike Obsolete, Digimortal literally sounds like Fear Factory watered down.
Several problems plague Digimortal from being considered a classic. The first and most obvious is that Burton C. Bell’s vocals sound weak. During the time of its release I figured it was a result of abuse from years of touring, however, every album afterwards sounds much better.
Guitar on this album is quite possibly some of the laziest guitar playing in metal history. Hell, Korn and Limp Bizkit wrote better riffs. Any Fear Factory fan would admit that, Dino Cazares isn’t the best guitarist to begin with but his rapid-fire technique has been replaced with a few down tuned hammerons and mid pace rock riffs, for example Linchpin. This album actually feels like they’re guitar parts missing on the final mix. For example, songs like Linchpin, Digimortal, and Hurt Conveyer only feature guitars in the introduction and chorus riffs.
The majority of songs feature the same verse/chorus/verse structure. Basically, you have an intro riff followed by the verse which usually only features bass and drums along with Bell’s mediocre shouts. Then we get a big chorus with Cazares finally playing a riff or two, overtop Bell’s clean singing. If you have the digipack, you’ll have a few extra tracks that follow this exact pattern.
The saving grace of this album is Raymond Herrera’s drumming and Christian Olde Wolbers’ bass. Both instruments add some solid low end to the mix. Since Bell and Cazares half-assed this entire album, Herrera’s drumming really stands out. Herrera fans should check out the tracks No One, Digimortal the pre chorus on Linchpin and the chorus of Back the Fuck Up (which actually makes this song somewhat enjoyable.)
As bad as this album is, Digimortal still sounds like a Fear Factory album unlike Machine Head’s embarrassing nu-metal phase. Digimortal does feature a few hidden gems such as the two ballads Invisible Wounds (Dark Bodies) and (Memory Imprints) Never End both being some of Fear Factory’s better ballads. The production is the best of Fear Factory’s career, minus the half-assed delivery of both Bell and Cazares. The tracks are crisp and full of futuristic ambience. Yes, Back the Fuck Up does feature B-Real of Cypress Hill as well as awkward rap vocals by Bell, but thankfully Digimortal doesn’t drag on too long.