Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hostile Machine Takeover

The Essentials Collection

Band: Fear Factory
Album: Demanufacture
Year: 1995
Genre(s): Industrial metal, Extreme metal
Why You Need This Album: Some bands have been labeled by critics and fans as "pioneers," even though they weren't truly innovators in music. Fear Factory are not one of those bands. They broke ground in the early 90s with their debut album, 1992's "Soul Of A New Machine," being the first album to blend harsh and clean vocals, a style which has since been adopted by many metal bands. It was also the first album to blend metal with electronic elements, creating the genre of industrial metal. This album, Soul Of A New Machine's follow-up, is by far the band's crowning achievement, and a quintessential 90s metal album.

This is a concept album inspired by the hit movie, The Terminator, and tells the story of a man living in a country with a government controlled by machines, with each song being a chapter in his life. The story kicks off with the title track, with a blistering drum and guitar passage that still to this day is one of the heaviest song intros ever, and Burton C. Bells growls throughout fill the song with raw anger. The album then leads into "Self Bias Resistor," with yet another machine gun-like intro with Dino Cazeras's rapid palm-muted guitar and Ray Herrera's blistering speed and precision on drums creating a devastating sonic assault. The song also gives the listener a taste of frontman Bell's porcelain smooth clean vocals in the choruses, showing his immense vocal versatility. Another noteworthy song is the album's fifth track, "New Breed," which opens with a bass drop that could punch a hole in your chest if you weren't braced for it. The song is significantly shorter than the rest of the songs on the album, but despite the length, it manages to pack a more brutal punch than most other songs on there. The ninth track, "H-K (Hunter Killer)" is yet another slamming song with an intro describing a man on shooting spree from the perspective of a news reporter live on the scene. The eleventh and final song on the album, "A Therapy For Pain," is an eerie song laced with Bell's mournful singing that creates a creepy atmosphere with creepy lyrics to boot. This spine-tingler of a song is a perfect ending to a sensational album filled with vivid imagery which paints a picture that allows the listener to see all the events of the album playing out in their head. A true masterpiece of an album that every metal fan should own.