Fear Factory - Transgression review


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Band: Fear Factory
Album: Transgression
Release date: August 2005

01. 540,000 Degrees Fahrenheit
02. Transgression
03. Spinal Compression
04. Contagion
05. Empty Vision
06. Echo Of My Scream
07. Supernova
08. New Promise
09. I Will Follow [U2 cover]
10. Millennium [Killing Joke cover]
11. Moment Of Impact
12. Empire [bonus]

I'll have to confess that when I first heard Fear Factory's latest album "Transgression", I was more than just a little disappointed. As time went on, I learned to appreciate it more and although it is far from a masterpiece, at least it is a collection of tracks made by a band that does not feel comfortable with recording the same album over and over again.

For the most part, Fear Factory seem to want to abandon their dehumanized sound that made them so popular and that is so influential on so many bands. They now definitely sound like a band, for better or worse. Their music does have more of a 'soul' now than ever before; however, Raymond Herrera's untriggered and unclipped drums no longer sound as impressive as they used to, Burton C. Bell's vocals aren't as reverbed and cleaned up as on previous releases and some of the less successful experiments on this album now cannot remain listenable simply because they are bombastically played.

With all this said, I am under the impression that in the end, the soul baring that Fear Factory so bravely does on this album pays off for the most part. Although many old fans of the band might disagree, it is the more melodic and atmospheric tracks on this album that stand out and really deserve to be praised. The band simply sounds so much more convincing in these songs, maybe because while every metalcore band out there is emulating FF's trademark double-bass drum assault, there really aren't that many bands in the metal world that mix heavy riffs and metal structures with Gary Numan-esque synth lines as successfully as Fear Factory does. Thus, it is tracks like "Supernova", "New Promise" (the best song here), "Echo Of My Scream" and the U2 cover "I Will Follow" that are the highlights of this album.

In comparison to the excellent melodic tracks, the usual Fear Factory technical brutality-fests just don't sound as inspired. Thankfully, the band includes more melodic riffing here and there and Burton varies his vocal approach more to include hardcore screams and death metal grunts in addition to his usual yells interspersed with choir-boy clean vocals. This, along with such little tastes as occasional post-punk rhythms, grindcore blasts and stop-go dynamics borrowed from Lamb Of God actually makes those more brutal tracks quite interesting and listenable, although still not to an astounding level.

"Transgression" is not a consistently good album but the good outshines the bad here and anyone interested in getting to know the soul of this band more is recommended to check this album out.


Written on 23.11.2005 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 106 users
07.04.2008 - 09:44
Liver Failure
i didnt find the bad parts (except the U2 Cover... it sucks) and though this album very enjoyable. ''Contagion'' and ''Echoe of my scream'', speacially, have the atmosphere that reveals the ''new soul'' of Fear Factory, wich is very good in my opinion. 9,3 /10

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
12.03.2010 - 16:46
Good Review

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