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Favtory of Fear - 93%

Andras13, April 5th, 2009

After gracing us with a couple of demo tapes Fear Factory gave us the release that would kick-start their career. With the release of Soul of a New Machine they began a legacy of ever progressing style that started as just another death metal band. The industrial element of this first full length release was kept to a minimum, but present throughout. The overall sound of this album is raw. The guitars sound to me a bit like the overall feel of Left Hand Path by Entombed. The styles aren’t the same at all, just the recorded sound. The death metal elements are a dead on match for the genre in the early nineties.

The album starts out with Martyr, an excellent track in my opinion. There is heavy riffing to bring the album to full steam immediately. Then, sustain is utilized on one note with the high hat to set the beat. Then the spoken words and drum set up the tension. The heavy riff kicks back in and sets you headbanging about your room. The song follows this loosely as a pattern until the finish. Nothing technical or brutal, just death metal, with clean vocals added in for the industrial feel.

Crash Test begins with a grating industrial tinged scraping noise. Some shouting is added into the background as the song surges into a thrashing frenzy. It is a bit repetitive I admit, but halfway through the songs kicks into another equally heavy riff and the tempo is slowed. A bridge ensues and we can take a moment to breathe, and then you’re plummeted straight back into the first riffing. The song is simple in comparison to much other death metal, but there is no denying the urge to get up and move. The lyrics themselves are interesting in the fact that they are about animal testing. The death shout instead of a death growl serve this song well and add to its intensity.

The track Natividad is a break from the metal and a cool approach to the industrial side of the band. The track consists of what sounds like large machinery in a factory. If you listen hard enough you may find a pattern to the jumble of sounds. You might also find yourself imagining that you are witnessing the machines doing their work. This track helped the lay the foundations of the industrial side of Fear Factory’s brand of metal.

The song Suffer Age starts with a high guitar piece tightening up the coils of the track. The bass and drums are added in and a sense of impending chaos becomes more obvious. The intro is greeted with clean vocals in the background. Now the pressure builds as some riffs are introduced while dueling between the guitars and drums. The song then explodes into its death metal glory. The snare beats and the vocals dominate while the guitars tear up the background. A sample is thrown in and the tempo changes without losing momentum. After a short bridge the song kicks back into the death metal sound. Ending abruptly as it started I can only imagine how much fun the pit was when they played this track live.

Desecrate begins with a short battle of riffs between guitar and bass. They join forces and plunge you into a fast and heavy song. The vocals are still the death shout as the rest of the album, however have an added effect worthy of the Fear Factory name. The song then move itself into a more groove oriented, but still heavy as hell section. This alternation takes place twice before a new riff is brought into the mix. The chord progressions are heavy for the whole track no matter where they are played on the fretboard. The riffage continues for a few more quick cycles and then finish abruptly.

I’ve only chosen a few songs, but this is the overall feel for the album. The standard slow and heavy lines are present in most songs. Likewise, the fast mosh oriented progressions are present throughout the whole album. The production quality is pretty high for a band of this nature from this era. If you are looking for a slightly different take on early nineties death metal I recommend picking up this album. Their death metal edge fades away as time passes, but this jewel lives on.