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Very Mortal - 53%

psychoticnicholai, July 11th, 2017

Like so many other bands at the time of the nu metal boom of the late 90s and early 2000s, Fear Factory switched their genre towards this new trendy sound in order to please record companies and get more exposure for themselves. They don't seem to be very pleased about this because Digimortal feels like much less effort was put into it than other Fear Factory albums. If there is a saving grace to this, it's that Digimortal still sounds like a Fear Factory album, a tepid and simple Fear Factory album, but at least one that holds onto their signature robotic identity.

There's such a dearth of energy on Digimortal that it feels like they treated it like a job rather than an actual artistic pursuit that they cared about. Everybody sounds like they're just half-assing their jobs. The guitar riffs on this album mostly just consist of mid-paced chugging without much in the way of variation. Keep in mind, Fear Factory already did chugging grooves on previous efforts, but they did them well, with a lot of energy, a lot of tempo shifts, and they change the notes around, forming jagged jackhammer-like riffs that strike hard. On Digimortal, these are mostly just jump-up bounce grooves that go at largely the same pace for the whole song. They lack the ferocity that made Demanufacture and Obsolete such heavyweights. They sound a little aggressive, but nowhere near as fired up as they used to be. The same can be said for Burton Bell's vocal performance. He shouts about a lot, but never pushes himself to the brink. It always sounds like he doesn't want to put his vocal cords at risk for this, and he's playing it safe. By contrast, his clean singing is probably as good as it's ever been. As for the other instruments, they fill the sound in well enough, but don't do much else. Digimortal just sounds like something the guys didn't care as much about, and it shows.

This feels like Fear Factory at its most basic. You've got your chunky, robotic riffs. You've got a guy alternating between barks and effect-drenched clean singing. And you've got a sci-fi setting with a lot of cool shit happening in it. But while this has all of that, it feels lacking. I already explained the instrumental deficiencies of this album, now let's look at composition. Most of the songs are the usual single-riff affairs with only the main riff and little else. The futuristic feeling of this album is much more subdued compared to earlier Fear Factory. Sure, on the clean-sung songs like "Invisible Wounds (Dark Bodies)" Burton's voice adds a lot to it and gives it a very surreal and airy vibe that would fit the atmosphere of floating in blank white space. The rest of the album fails to hold much of an atmosphere and mostly relies on the weakened chugs. Yeah, a groove or two works for a bit, but doesn't last since most of these are basic verse/chorus songs with little to separate them. Few of the songs stand out, but only one of them is especially bad, that being "Back the Fuck Up". That song feels like a bad joke to me, and it only works as a comedy piece. I like Fear Factory and I like Cypress Hill, just never mix them. B Real sounds clownish and out of place while rapping and he screams "BACK UP OFFA MEEEEEEEE" like he got pushed off a building. The rest of the song is just hip-hop posturing with curse words and chugs. Aside from that, Digimortal is serviceable, but low-effort and basic.

Going nu metal and making an album just for the sake or money is a bad idea. Digimortal is what happens when you take otherwise passionate and talented metal performers and make them do the simplest take on their own sound. Digimortal feels like it was treated more as a job rather than a creative endeavor the band members were truly committed to. It isn't terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but there was so much more that could've been done. This is Fear Factory with the fire sucked out of them.

awful crap - 0%

Napalm_Satan, July 13th, 2016

After releasing 3 abortions in a row, Fear Factory elected to throw in even more mallcore influence for their next album, Digimortal. The third and final concept album in the triptych of shite that also included Obsolete and Demanufacture, it was a good thing that the band went away after this one, because no more were our speakers being polluted with this nonsense.

Straight away any prospective listener is 'treated' to a 2-note droning nu metal 'riff', and that sets the tone for the rest of the album, really. The whole thing is just full of these redundant and repetitive Roots-era Sepultura drones and mindless mechanical chugs played with a weak and processed guitar tone that drag their knuckles about without actually being entertaining in the way Pantera were. The songs don't flow, they feel stilted and broken and are hideously unmemorable due to their annoying stop-start anti-rhythms. The bass sounds nu metallish and drives the album too much, with vocals over bass verses being all too common on what should be a riff-driven album. The drums are boring as hell straight beats and stupid off-time stuff that gives the album a 'bounce', as well as combining the mechanical-sounding, overly precise and triggered performance of Demanufacture.

The vocals are horrendous, even by the standards of Burton Bell. His retarded and monotonous shouts sound even worse than they did before, having zero edge or power to them. His voice has basically taken a beating and hence now he sounds less like a metal vocalist and more like a mallcore vocalist, almost like Robbb Flynnn's gimpy yelling during their nu-metal phase. Even worse are his clean vocals, which combine angsty radio rock 'melodies' (read - tuneless whining) and absolutely no power behind them at all to give a revolting performance. They are there for the purposes of a catchy hook and hence radio play - but they are too damn distorted in order to sound 'industrial' and no one would want to sing along to crap like this.

The songs are all pretty much the same manufactured verse-hook-verse basic crap, where the verses are incoherent and unmemorable and the hook is weak and annoying. The songs are all pretty much the same length too, until the last few tracks. The only thing that separates one from the next is the prominence of the awful cleans and how broken the main 'riff' sounds. The album isn't industrial in any way, rather it throws those distorted cleans and the occasional 'mechanical' sound effect, as well as achieving a mechanical sound through the drum triggers, monotonous yells and juddering riffs to claim the 'industrial' tag. This whole album is a mess, from start to finish. A waste of studio time and a CD - completely worthless and shallow drivel.

Oh, and 'back the fuck up' with that rapping will you? A bunch of hacks like this lot should never try something as hard as mixing rap and rock/metal *well*.

Sounds Like Someone's Missing a Linchpin - 50%

mikeald, November 8th, 2011

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.

Amusing at best. - 40%

PluviaSomniums, October 4th, 2007

First, let's clear something up right now. Burton C. Bell fucking ruined this album. R-U-I-N-E-D. That man never should have changed his style of vocal delivery (not that it was all that great in the first place). His attempt to be semi-melodic is so terrible and so fucking unbearable that I could not help but laugh out loud when I first heard the opening track 'What Will Become?' . Actually, I still laugh out loud when I hear it. I still laugh out loud whenever I hear anything he sang off this record. He's that bad. He has ditched the straight death growling for an unfocused, half-hearted blend of shouting, trying to sing melodically, rapping, and a wimpy ass death growl. And alot of times, his voice is digitized by computers and voice distortions, to fit the whole dumb ass industrial theme of 'Digimortal'. I do enjoy the better industrial acts, and do enjoy (well-executed) industrial metal (i.e. Ministry, Lard, etc) - but this is pathetic. What this record sounds like is Disturbed trying as hard as they possibly can to play death metal, with some fucktard overdubbing the entire thing with little digitized computer effects and industrial noises to add the whole techno motif (which explains the dumb fucking title of the record, 'Digimortal').

So, besides the vocals, what else is wrong with this album? Just about everything. But there are a few saving graces. First, Raymond Herrera really is a great drummer. He can play at a machine gun pace effortlessly, has an impeccable sense of touch and groove, and can really make songs bounce and move along. He is probably the most talented member of this outfit. He knows the principals of restraint, as well - which sometimes really holds back alot of good drummers from being amazing drummers. Commando, this means you. Some of the grooves the interaction between the guitars and drums create are good - most notably those found on 'What Will Become?', 'Damaged', and 'Acres of Skin' - but for the most part, the guitar riffs are simple, boring, unchanging and generic. One thing you will not find on this album is originality. Not an ounce of it.

On yet another down note, the whole delivery and presentation of this high tech piece of shit is laughable. As I mentioned before, throughout the entire album there is this whole 'techno/sci-fi' theme, which explains that horrible attempt at adding an industrial element, and alot of these shitty titles and lyrics found throughout 'Digimortal'. If you can't tell by alot of these laugh-out-loud titles (see: 'Damaged', 'Back The Fuck Up', 'Hurt Converyor', 'Acres of Skin', 'Invisible Wounds') - the lyrics on this record add nothing. In some instances (most notably 'Damaged') they really bring the potential of this record down. Not that it had any, anyway.

Then, there is controversial track this record spawned - 'Back the Fuck Up'. I don't care if you are a metal head, a rap fan, a nu-metal fan, or a rap-metal fan - this song is fucking terrible. Most hardcore rap fans dismiss Cypress Hill anyway, and it is obvious why as B-Real has absolutley no skill at the mic. And, as I mentioned when I opened this review - Burton C. Bell should never open his mouth - no matter if he is growling, singing or rapping. And he really can't rap. And the throaty timbre of his voice makes the attempt at spitting rhymes even more pitiful. Unless you are an avid enthusiast of horribly shitty music - you will concur that 'Back the Fuck Up' is a disgrace to music, a disgrace to metal, and even a disgrace to rap.

Don't get this album. It's that plain simple. Some stellar drumming and a few cool grooves and riffs here and there can't save this turd. Let it sink into the deep, dark, abyss of forgotten, horrendus albums, and rot with the rest of the Linkin Park albums, to which this record is more akin than any real metal album I can think of.

I have to confess... - 82%

MikeyC, January 20th, 2007

Okay, I need to say something. I’m metaphorically putting my head on the chopping block here, but I think I should come clean. So here it is.

“Digimortal” is Fear Factory’s best album.

Yes, that’s right. I said it. It’s out there. I can’t undo it now. I really like this album. Where “Obsolete” and “Archetype” are pretty good, this one beats them both. Maybe not by miles, but it’s just better.

Let me tell you why. Yes, “Digimortal” is different from their previous albums, but you need to listen to this album and just take it as it is, and not compare it to their other releases. If you do this, you will fall into the same trap as everyone else who hates this album. Now, to the music, there are 3 major differences that you will notice.

1. The guitars. They’re not as heavy as they were on “Obsolete”, that’s for sure. Pick any song on this album and you can hear the guitars don’t deliver that punch that the previous album had. However, that’s comparing! If you block out any memory of “Obsolete”, you’ll realise that some of the riffs are really catchy. Take the chorus of “What Will Become?” as an example, or the starting riff on “No One”. The guitars mightn’t be as crunchy, and they may sound more computerized, but that doesn’t mean the riffs aren’t thought out or sub standard in any way. They just decided to go down a different path.

2. The vocals. Burton’s growls have been replaced by harsh singing. Now, again, personally this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the cleaner singing style fits with the music. But I can understand why it isn’t looked favourably upon. It makes the entire album sound much more mallcore than it’s intending to be. The song “Linchpin” is a good example of that. It’s trying to be heavy, but never really makes it. But that’s just personal taste.

3. The track lengths. The album (minus the bonus tracks) contains 11 songs. Nine of these are between 3 and 4 minutes in length, and the other two are above 5 minutes. But is this a bad thing? I say no, it isn’t. The music doesn’t need to be longer. They are shorter because they need to be shorter. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love long, epic songs, but here, they’re simply not needed. The lengths are fine the way they are.

Almost everything else about the album is pretty consistent with their other albums. Raymond’s drumming is impeccable (and slightly predictable) once again. I love his bass drum work on “No One” and his triplet work at the start of “Acres Of Skin”. In my view, it’s the best thing on the album. Even livid haters of this album can’t deny he’s a pretty talented drummer.

Now, of course, the album isn’t without flaws. Here’s 3 of the big mistakes they could’ve rendered.

1. “Back The Fuck Up”. While this track isn’t god-awful, by metal (and rap) standards, it’s below par. Some guy named B-Real (?) does guest vocals, and he and Burton both try their hand at rapping. Unfortunately, the rapping is pretty underwhelming from both of them, and the song falls into a heap. It throws off the flow of the album, and should’ve been placed as a B side, or bonus track.

2. Songwriting. Yeah, some of the song structures are very one-dimensional. Songs like “Digimortal” and “Linchpin” fall into the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus routine, with slight variances here and there. Again, this sort of structure isn’t bad, if used sparingly, but when there are many songs like this, it can get tedious.

3. Outro on “(Memory Imprints) Never End”. This, the final track on the album, could’ve finished two minutes earlier, but it drags on with atmospheric strings and Burton’s computerized whispering, with a few synth sounds thrown in for good measure. For me, this is drawn out for too long and could’ve ended on a stronger note.

However, despite all the hiccups in the album, it is still their most enjoyable, and it’s the one I keep coming back to. I can understand why it is hated, but if you take this album as a separate entity, you’ll end up finding out that it can be quite a good listen.

Best tracks: No One, Acres of Skin, Byte Block, Hurt Conveyer

FF's swansong...almost - 93%

raZe, August 7th, 2004

Fear Factory has made a comeback of the rare kind this year, with their release of Archetype, back from the ashes and whatnot. But before they broke up, they managed to release an album which is classified by many as...well, crap. And of course, being who I am, I have to disagree. Digimortal is a great album, very different from Fear Factory's previous output, but nonetheless worthy. The songs revolve around a concept where man and machine merge together, forming a whole new society. In usual Burton C. Bell style, it's mostly very vague, and the songs can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, which is a good thing. While Digimortal is an aggressive record, it is also surprisingly melodic, and guitarist Dino Cazares seem very influenced by 80's dark wave music, departing from his usual all-out aggressive riffing, and infusing dark, melodic playing in most of the songs. Burton C. Bell uses a lot of harmonies, which enhances the mood of the music significantly. This is especially evident in songs like "Digimortal", "Linchpin", and "(Memory Imprints) Never End", where his haunting voice displays soothing emotions you'd be hard pressed to find in earlier Fear Factory works. The album is pretty diverse as well, ranging from the extreme catchiness and haunting feelings found in the ballad "Invisible Wounds (Dark Bodies)" and the aformentioned tracks, to the cyborg-like hostility and aggressiveness found in song like "Hurt Conveyor", "Acres of Skin" and "Byte Block", to the mid-tempo tracks "What Will Become?" and "No One". There's something for most moods here.

Sadly, being influenced by the then strong rap-metal scene (cringe), they decided to collaborate with B-Real of Cypress Hill fame on the "Worst Fear Factory Song This Side Of Soul Of A New Machine", "Back the Fuck Up". It's a pretty useless song, and Fear Factory really shouldn't have done that, as it breaks up the flow of the album quite severely. Still, one turd among many great songs aren't enough to condemn an album. If you were so lucky as to buy the digi-pak version of Digimortal (hehe, digpack...Digimortal..hehe), there are four bonus tracks, where three of them rule immensely! "Dead Man Walking", "Strain Vs. Resistance" and "Repentance" could all be featured on the main album, as they have the same great quality as the rest. So it's a bit strange they didn't include them as normal songs. One reason could be that they didn't fit with the "story", so they decided to leave them out. Anyway, I'm glad I bought that version. The fourth bonus track, "Full Metal Contact", is from a video game (of the same name, I think), and is an intrumental, and in fact pretty useless, so the less said about it, the better. There is a little annoying detail I haven't mentioned. In many of the songs, between verse and chorus/bridge and chorus/whatever, Dino has chosen to fuck with the sound on his guitar, creating a bit of an anti-climax to the songs. It isn't a big problem, but I'm glad he wasn't in the band for Archetype, who knows what he would've done on that?

Overall, Digimortal is a very fine album, with strong songwriting, mostly nice instrumentation, and great production, with little to complain about. A warning though; it is not for metalheads who don't like experimentation or modern (as in somewhat hip) metal. Otherwise, you should take a listen. :)

One good song - 15%

Vim_Fuego, August 6th, 2004

Further Down The Spiral. If Nine Inch Nails hadn't already used that for a title, it would be perfect for this album. One word sums it up — lame.

At one time, Fear Factory could scare the skintight black jeans off anyone in the death metal scene. "Digimortal" sees them no longer even faintly death metal, but nu–metal wannabes. This band had a unique sound, and threw it out in favour of fashion. On first listen, "Digimortal" comes across as sub–Coal Chamber nu–metal toss. And it never improves.

Gone is the wrecking ball–heavy guitar sound in favour of something better suited to a Linkin Park single. Gone is the paint stripper death growl, replaced by a tone–deaf Korn–y rasp. Burton C. Bell still showcases his undoubtedly classy clean singing voice on the title track, but it's used too sparingly. The rhythm section is as heavy as it ever was, but is never allowed to really let strip as long time fans know it can (remember "Leechmaster"?).

The single "Linchpin" is just a joke. It instantly conjures up a feel of Korn at their lamest, a la "Got The Life". It's a pop song, with double kickdrums. "Invisible Wounds (Dark Bodies)" is a power ballad of dire proportions. However, it does allow Dino Cazares the opportunity to show he's capable of so much more than just plain, boring rhythm–only nu–metal guitar playing, with some nice semi–acoustic touches.

The smelliest steaming turd in this pile of dung is definitely "Back The Fuck Up". On a weak album like this, it descends to new subterranean depths of vapidity. Unthinkable in days gone by, it's a rap track, so dire it makes Fred Durst seem like Frank Sinatra in comparison. Songs like this make you thankful there is a fast forward/skip button on your CD player. Lyrically, Burton C. Bell continues his Terminator obsession, where machines are surplanting humans. It's not terribly original or interesting. Voivod explored on a similar theme more than a decade ago and did it better. The songs are vague and meaningless, and the album concept is dull.

Overall, there are few highlights, and a couple of extreme low lights on the album, which all winds down in the customary directionless descent into a silent soundscape (see Demanufacture, Remanufacture, and Obsolete for reference) on "[Memory Imprints] Never End". Yawn. Then the bonus tracks kick in.

"Dead Man Walking" is a lurking metallic monster, with a nice melodic vocal refrain. Musically, it harks back to the "Demanufacture" album. "Strain vs. Resistance" ups the tempo, with another excellent vocal performance and some of the best riffs on the album. The standout track is most definitely "Full Metal Contact". Full metal it is, a breakneck–pace whiplash memory of the glory days of "Soul of A New Machine". Fear Factory can still produce the goods, but just lack the spark. Unfortunately, it's an instrumental, so there's none of Burton's ugly/beautiful deathgrowl. And this is the real problem with this album. Four of the best tracks here are only available to a limited audience, who will only get to hear them through geographical luck, or financial fortitude (the import price for this album is ridiculous!).

This band is capable of so much more.


heavymetalvixen, January 21st, 2004

Nice review title, I know. But you have to admit, all the guys in Fear Factory are fucking short. haha. Anyways...on to the actual album...

Yes, Digimortal has a nu-metalish sound to it, but its still fucking awesome. The music is impressive and catchy so I can easily get past that downside. Back The Fuck Up also has some rapping in it, which I do not like at all, but overall its an excellent song.

This album is just packed full of rage and energy. It sounds more like thrash than anything (other than the industrial sounding production). Most of the songs on here are worthy of some serious headbanging. The vocals are strong and clear, and they are always pushing the music forward. There's nothing too technical about this album, but when you put all the instruments together they make killer songs.

Best Tracks: What Will Become?, Damaged, Linchpin, Invisible Wounds (Dark Bodies), and Strain Vs. Resistance.

Hmmm... Not bad for a "nu-metal" album. - 70%

Tmansdc, November 19th, 2003

Fear Factory's 4th release (but not last, they have a new one in April 2004) got mixed reviews. For some people they thought that they had gone nu-metal because of the crappy "back the fuck up" song (rap's not a music genre.) But there are some good songs on this album. I will review only the good songs. (Not in order)

Damaged: This is one of the better songs on the album. It reminds me of Demanufacture lite. It starts off with "I'm damaged for love" and then goes into a heavy-ended sounding guitar riff. at 0:17 Rhys Fulber's keyboards kick in and gives it the industrial feel that is the Fear Factory trademark. The vocals are pretty good but they are nothing compared to Soul of a new Machine and Demanufacture. By that I mean that the death growl has been lost. However there are some pretty good trademark clean vocals about 2 minutes iunto the song.

Linchpin: Holy shit this is a good song. In fact it is probably the best one on the record. It is catchy and a good song for moshing. Sure the drums sound like a drum machine (BUT THEY ARE NOT!) and the vocals may havbe been drenched in electronic keyboards, but they are still ok.

What Will Become: This is the intro track and for the first ten seconds there's a really really weird sounding guitar riff. Then Rhys's electronics kick in and gives the song it's own unique flavor. In fact, this song probably (at least out of all the songs I have heard from Fear Factory which is all but 5 or so) has the most evident electronics. Ah well, that's what industrial metal is all about. Plus the intro to the second verse has a really weird sounding riff as well. There are also some very very very weird sounding noises around 2:13 and last till 2:31.

Well I could go more into the songs but those are my three favorite from this album. Like I said this is my least favorite album by Fear Factory. Let's hope Archetype is better. But this isn't "nu-metal" like people keep saying except for the rap song. Another reason is that this was Dino's last album. He will be missed but we have Brujeria and Assenio for his other talents. He never was a good guitarist, but he was integral to the Fear Factory formula. Also this i Rhys Fulber's last album with Fear Factory. He has rejoined his old group "Front Line Assembly" which is an industrial group. Check them out if you like industrial in general like me. Try their millennium album, it has Devin Townsend on guitars! (shameless advertising)

Dust Collector...RRAAAAAA - 41%

Metalli_Priest, October 8th, 2003

Hmm, I’ve never really liked fear factory, and this album doesn’t really change that. The drumming is extremely samey; it just sounds like a drumming machine. The vocals, in my opinion, are just well, nothing spectacular being mainly a half-arsed death growl while sometimes alternating to a cleaner style. Yes, it is plenty brutal, offering many a blast beat, but isn’t very memorable. Everything is just recycled, putting in some random samples so not to sound EXACTLY the same. Oh, and the guitar tone is horrible! Total mallcore shit.

The title track is probably the best track on here. It kind of alternates between growls and clean vocals a lot, and the overall melodic feeling of the song sounds OK.

Invisible Wounds (Dark Bodies) is a ballad in fear factory terms: no growling, no double bass, etc, etc. Back the F*** up is an extremely fucking shit ‘song’ its just kind of extreme-rap. Many of my friends dig this song, so yeah, it’s fucking shit; they like slipknot etc.

Hurt Conveyer is probably the most brutal song on here. The chorus is 100% full on. But those little samples or what ever the fuck they are really hurt my ears when listening to it on headphones. oh, this song would be cool if it was renamed 'Dust Collector'... or not.

Alright, not every song is reviewed, but they all sound the same.

Hmm, I think this album could have been better if they tried for something different, but hey, they didn’t and we got what we got. Its good for what its worth, but nothing memorable.

Ummm....I'm not sure on this one - 67%

Thrash_Till_Death, February 5th, 2003

Ok, so I'm a fan of fear factory and i'm not afraid to admit it. Their releases before this are wicked awesome. And here lies the problem with this release. Its not wicked awesome.

The cd opens with What Will Become, which is a pretty decent song. Its has all the usual FF trademarks, except it is softer than anything on Obsolete. Damaged is next and again, we have all the usual FF tricks. It has a pretty catchy chorus and is a bit heavier than the opening track. Nothing all that memorable though. The title track is next and its quickly becoming obvious the band is somewhat softer now. Burton throws out his clean vocals, which are very good, but should be used to songs Ressurrection or Timelessness. No One is next and a good sign is we're back to the heavier songs, though there is some stupid keyboard thing in here. Its pretty cool though and has a good breakdown , "take one, take one shot, one more shot at me". Linch pin is up next and this is pretty bad. It has a stupid intro and it gets even worse. I can't even describe how much this song sucks. Invisible Wounds is next and the band seems to be trying to do ressurrection part 2. It works on some levels, but is somewhat of a hit & miss.

Acres of Skin is next and finally, there is some fucking aggression on here! This intro brings to mind the days of Demanufacture. If the whole cd was like this, I would be saying much more good things about it. The next song...nothing could prepare anyone for the absolute awfulness of this song. Back the Fuck Up is the title and its a straight up rap song. PUKE!

After this, the cd is just sort of akward after that stupid rap song. The songs are ok but don't really do much to grab the listener. The song Memory Imprints is another pretty good soft songs and ends the cd, for those without the digi pack. Now for those with the Digi version, these songs are actually pretty good. Dead Man Walking is the first of the bonus songs and starts like it could have been on Obsolete. Good song. The other bonus tracks are just as good and the last one is an instrument song.

In the end, this is a dissapointing cd, considering the previous cds the band put out, like the amazing Demanfucature and the also great Obsolete. Some of the tracks bring to mind these releases, others are just there, while some are plain out awful. I would have given this a lower rating, but I have the digi version, to the bonus tracks brought the rating back up.

best songs imo: no one, acres of skin, memory imprints, dead man walking.

The Swansong - 73%

Colonel_Kurtz, October 29th, 2002

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 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.