Rating:
8.5
Fear Factory - Mechanize
5 February 2010


01. Mechanize
02. Industrial Discipline
03. Fear Campaign
04. Powershifter
05. Christploitation
06. Oxidizer
07. Controlled Demolition
08. Designing The Enemy
09. Metallic Division
10. Final Exit
11. Crash Test [re-recorded] [digipak bonus]


It wasn't long ago Fear Factory were claiming that "the soul of this machine has improved", following the departure of founding member, axe-man Dino. A questionable album and a legal case later, and Mechanize appears to be the band's seventh and latest full-length. Raymond and Christian do not feature on this album, Dino is back with his multiple-string guitar for the first time since Digimortal. For the first time ever the band also sees a new drummer, going by that familiar name of Gene Hoglan.

There's no question about it that when you hear Dino's signature guitar sound along with Burton's distinctive vocals, you wonder why the two were ever separated. Mechanize sounds fresh, modern, contemporary and it will knock you sideways. Fear Factory has regenerated and updated to the next version.

Performance-wise, this is probably the best the band have ever been. Burton is back on form delivering his roars and clean vocals as good as he ever has, only Dino's guitar has this unreal sound, and Gene blasts out one of his best performances with a fair few blastbeats and amazing control of the kick drums as he outclasses Raymond's past performances with Raymond's own style. Fear Factory have never sounded so extreme and tight, Mechanize is a true professional's performance.

It might sound ideal to have Fear Factory back with an album of frantic, industrial-tinged death metal, but the opportunity cost of the extremity seems to be character. Last song on the album "Final Exit" is the only display of character on the album, and by Fear Factory's standards this song is simply divine. A hint of condemned melody in the clean vocal chorus and a slight dampening of pace makes all the difference.

By no means is the half-hour punishing crush of album beforehand un-enjoyable. Although there may appear to be just one tiny hard-to-put-the-finger-on element still missing, this is the best Fear Factory have been since Obsolete, or even Demanufacture. For the first time since Digimortal, the band sound once again part of the modern time they are a part of. Mechanize is an enormously impressive present-day album that will please fans and casual listeners to no end. Fear Factory are back and mean business.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: Fear Factory
Album: Mechanize


 



Written on 28.02.2010 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››



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demonseed - 28.02.2010 at 19:13  
Great review, in fact I agree 100% with you.
Athropos - 28.02.2010 at 20:00  
This album is quite good. For the first time since Demanufacture, I can listen to a complete FF album without skipping any song.
Sunioj - 28.02.2010 at 23:32  
Favorite FF album by far.
silenius - 01.03.2010 at 10:14  
Great album
Troy Killjoy - 01.03.2010 at 11:06  
I basically wrote these guys off after Obsolete, as everything that seemed to follow that release just sounded like garbage. Archetype has its moments despite being a softer album overall, but Mechanize captures a lot of Fear Factory's best qualities and modernizes their sound as you said. A strong album that has made me think twice about writing them off again; in terms of quality I rank it behind Obsolete and Demanufacture, but for a 2010 release they should be proud of themselves for regaining form like they have here.
Dangerboner - 01.03.2010 at 11:08  
I don't understand. This album sounds just like Divine Heresy's Bleed the Fifth, but not as good, but it didn't get nearly as much attention as this album does. Mechanize is almost like a second-hand version of Bleed the Fifth.

Burton is one of the very few vocalists who actually ruins the band for me, but in this case, the music isn't even as impressive or as powerful as it has been in the past, which still isn't saying a lot.
Eddie Misery - 01.03.2010 at 15:10  
Great album, great review, and a great recovery for a band I had given up on completely after Transgression.
RafaRata - 01.03.2010 at 15:46  
I liked Divine Heresy's new album a lot more, this one just doesn't have the brutality and the catchiness...
and I hated the singer's performance.
Ag Fox - 01.03.2010 at 16:17  
I liked Mechanize, but never heard any previous stuff. Which one should I go for?
Baz Anderson - 01.03.2010 at 18:15  
Written by Ag Fox on 01.03.2010 at 16:17

I liked Mechanize, but never heard any previous stuff. Which one should I go for?

"Demanufacture" is THE Fear Factory album. Turn it up though, it's a bit of a quiet one.
After that get "Obsolete" - which is slower but a lot heavier.
BitterCOld - 01.03.2010 at 19:15  
This is the first FF album i've checked out since "Demanufacture"... i like it. haven't made up my mind on a rating yet, as i want to give it a few more spins.

it's likely in the 7-7.5 range for me.

good review and right on about Hoglan. without consciously examining or paying attention to the drumming, it still grabbed my focus at points.
Amatsu Mikaboshi - 01.03.2010 at 21:06  
Until this, I really actually never thought that Barry "Bad-Ass" Anderson would be reviewing this like how he normally does just day's prior to their legal releases....

Maybe I should give this "Reviewing" a go?

Yet, as for this one itself I have honestly enjoyed this more and more by listen as there's nothing really different that I should point out for [/iMechanize].

As much to what has happened to the legal disputes I still can't help but feel some apathy for what has happpened to Raymond especially out of all of this for him. My respects to him and the rest of the Fear Factory Machine.

Do youhave a review for [/iMajesty And Decay] planned?
Baz Anderson - 01.03.2010 at 21:09  
Written by Amatsu Mikaboshi on 01.03.2010 at 21:06

Do youhave a review for [/iMajesty And Decay] planned?

I have had this album for quite a long time, but haven't actually got round to listening to it yet. I do intend to though!
Amatsu Mikaboshi - 01.03.2010 at 21:58  
Written by Baz Anderson on 01.03.2010 at 21:09

Written by Amatsu Mikaboshi on 01.03.2010 at 21:06

Do youhave a review for [/iMajesty And Decay] planned?

I have had this album for quite a long time, but haven't actually got round to listening to it yet. I do intend to though!


Actually, this springs to mind and this is probably the most stupid question you've ever had on here, but do mean on CD when having it for some time?

But, honestly I'll confess that collection you've got is surely fucking impressive! Bar-none!
Baz Anderson - 01.03.2010 at 23:10  
Written by Amatsu Mikaboshi on 01.03.2010 at 21:58

Actually, this springs to mind and this is probably the most stupid question you've ever had on here, but do mean on CD when having it for some time?

But, honestly I'll confess that collection you've got is surely fucking impressive! Bar-none!

I don't mean on CD, but I didn't download it illegally. I have the digital version from the label (like I have the new Exodus, Cathedral, etc. at the moment that aren't released yet) to use for review.

So not everything in my "collection" is on CD, not by a long way. I do still own quite a lot of CDs though.
Amatsu Mikaboshi - 01.03.2010 at 23:19  
Written by Baz Anderson on 01.03.2010 at 23:10

Written by Amatsu Mikaboshi on 01.03.2010 at 21:58

Actually, this springs to mind and this is probably the most stupid question you've ever had on here, but do mean on CD when having it for some time?

But, honestly I'll confess that collection you've got is surely fucking impressive! Bar-none!

I don't mean on CD, but I didn't download it illegally. I have the digital version from the label (like I have the new Exodus, Cathedral, etc. at the moment that aren't released yet) to use for review.

So not everything in my "collection" is on CD, not by a long way. I do still own quite a lot of CDs though.


Ah well, that still is awesome in my mind anyways, especially the fact that you've already heard it all.

If I asked how it compares to Exhibit A, then I'd be completely switching topic then. Cheers!
Baz Anderson - 01.03.2010 at 23:27  
Written by Amatsu Mikaboshi on 01.03.2010 at 23:19

Ah well, that still is awesome in my mind anyways, especially the fact that you've already heard it all.

If I asked how it compares to Exhibit A, then I'd be completely switching topic then. Cheers!

Doesn't matter... haha.
It's still long-winded and has a couple of tracks on it that just aren't good at all, but I think it's actually a lot better and more thrashy in the old style than the last one.

It isn't all good getting to hear albums early though. When I first heard the last Equilibrium album (something like three or four months before it came out) I absolutely loved it, it's still the highest rated review I've ever given now... but I had no one to share my enthusiasm with... torture.
Amatsu Mikaboshi - 01.03.2010 at 23:45  
Written by Baz Anderson on 01.03.2010 at 23:27

Written by Amatsu Mikaboshi on 01.03.2010 at 23:19

Ah well, that still is awesome in my mind anyways, especially the fact that you've already heard it all.

If I asked how it compares to Exhibit A, then I'd be completely switching topic then. Cheers!

Doesn't matter... haha.
It's still long-winded and has a couple of tracks on it that just aren't good at all, but I think it's actually a lot better and more thrashy in the old style than the last one.

It isn't all good getting to hear albums early though. When I first heard the last Equilibrium album (something like three or four months before it came out) I absolutely loved it, it's still the highest rated review I've ever given now... but I had no one to share my enthusiasm with... torture.


Thanks for that. Still. Ether way, for Exhibit B I'm still giving it the chance and will be hearing it as soon as it's leaked out.

That must be painful about the Equilibrium album and I'm unfourtnately one of those many who haven't heard it yet. As for me before, when I hear leaked albums I've anticipated a long time in the past (e.g. Things like the latest Behemoth/ Nile/ Hypocrisy/ Immortal albums) and not entirely enjoyed them at first listen until the next few repeats-that is until I like then enough to buy them.

Or sometimes I try my hardest to endure "previews", like I did with World Painted Blood and brought that damn limited-deluxe edition.

Yet lastly, I don't know If you've heard of that limited "Tool Box" version of Mechanize, but maybe that should bring up some possible lulz?...
Baz Anderson - 01.03.2010 at 23:52  
Written by Amatsu Mikaboshi on 01.03.2010 at 23:45

Yet lastly, I don't know If you've heard of that limited "Tool Box" version of Mechanize, but maybe that should bring up some possible lulz?...

Hahaha, I have just looked it up. An actual tool box. That's pretty cool, if not just stupid. Haha, weird.
Collin - 03.03.2010 at 18:00  
I quite like this album. It's definitely not FF's best and I can't say if it sounds like Divine Heresy since I've never heard Divine Heresy, but it's rather good. Actually, I think the first five songs are great, the last one is good, the rest is meh. Clean vocals remind a bit too much of Digimortal. Altogether, better than Transgression, not as good as Archetype. I don't want to compare it to the first three albums.
SatyriconChick - 04.03.2010 at 03:28  
Written by Ag Fox on 01.03.2010 at 16:17

I liked Mechanize, but never heard any previous stuff. Which one should I go for?


Their first album, Soul of a New Machine, is amazing! My personal favorite is Demanufacture, but I would recommend both of those to you as a newbie to Fear Factory.
BitterCOld - 04.03.2010 at 18:49  
Written by SatyriconChick on 04.03.2010 at 03:28

Written by Ag Fox on 01.03.2010 at 16:17

I liked Mechanize, but never heard any previous stuff. Which one should I go for?


Their first album, Soul of a New Machine, is amazing! My personal favorite is Demanufacture, but I would recommend both of those to you as a newbie to Fear Factory.


i'll second "Demanufacture" - i really loved that one. i got "Soul Of A New Machine" when it was first released and thought it was pretty good, but it was "Demanufacture" that sold me on the band. amusingly, that was the last i picked up from them until "Mechanize".
Valaskjalf - 21.03.2010 at 17:53  
I used to be a massive "Obsolete" fan and still think thats their best album. Sure as hell a lot heavier and aggressive than "Demanufature", which was a bit softish. The new album is good, had it been released way back I probably would have loved it but Ive pretty much moved on from this type of metal. And the "man v machine" thing is getting seriously old. It was getting old on "Obsolete" already...
I_Die_Often - 21.03.2010 at 19:03  
Always hear raves about Gene Hoglan on drums in any band, and I think on this album, he adds a lot that I have never heard on any FF album. Doesn't just sound like a drum machine this time, there is energy to the drum sound.
A very good album!
@gent_-_orange - 21.04.2010 at 02:37  
Loving this album probably their best since demanufacture
MightyFuckinThor - 13.05.2010 at 02:46  
I haven't made it all the way through the album, yet, but so far, I'm totally psyched about what I'm hearing... I think Dino has definitely showed, in his return, that he was definitely the backbone to Fear Factory's signature sound. As for Christian and Ray not being in the band, I hope they have good fortune with their endeavors in Arkaea...
I never thought I'd hear of Dino ever coming back to Fear Factory, after hearing about all the shit that went on between him and Burton, but I'm definitely excited to see him back and hear him blasting out those all-too-familiar machine gun riffs (as I like to call them).
Honestly, I considered the last 2 albums to not even be worth buying... Archetype was about 1 step above total shit, and Transgression was a bit of an improvement... But it all sounded kind of hollow and artificial.
Upon listening to Mechanize, I'm closing my eyes and hearing things that take me back to Demanufacture and Obsolete... My favorite 2 albums, thus far.
mariano - 15.05.2010 at 22:38  
Written by MightyFuckinThor on 13.05.2010 at 02:46

I think Dino has definitely showed, in his return, that he was definitely the backbone to Fear Factory's signature sound. As for Christian and Ray not being in the band, I hope they have good fortune with their endeavors in Arkaea...


I agree on that.
Also, to my ear is like Dino sounds better in terms of the recording quality. It may be because of the equipment he uses but also I think he is more focused into that than Christian.
Fane - 19.05.2010 at 00:26  
I would give this 7.5 - 8.0 score. Songs aren't as unique as they are on previous albums. Also it lacks some edge in my opinion. Meh, good album anyway.
Vitriolic Hate - 31.05.2010 at 02:10  
Fucking great album
!J.O.O.E.! - 31.05.2010 at 02:23  
And people were thinking that Archetype was a return to form. This blows Archetype out of the water, even if it is just a reaffirmation of a previous sound. There are few bands that offer the instant gratification that Fear Factory bestows.
Aetherius - 14.10.2010 at 13:53  
I'm a little late on the album, but just was able to pick it up the other day! After a couple of complete listens, I agree with this review and all the comments! FF being one of the older bands I have ever listened to, I am very happy to hear this release after a rocky last few years. I Especially agree with the part about the drums. ^^
Thrash del Sur - 08.12.2011 at 23:11  
This album is Metalcore, don't fool yourself.
Troy Killjoy - 08.12.2011 at 23:17  
Written by Thrash del Sur on 08.12.2011 at 23:11
This album is Metalcore, don't fool yourself.

Metalcore? I'd agree with alternative or industrial, but what about this album says "metalcore" to you?
!J.O.O.E.! - 08.12.2011 at 23:50  
Written by Thrash del Sur on 08.12.2011 at 23:11

This album is Metalcore, don't fool yourself.

You're an idiot.
Angelic Storm - 09.12.2011 at 08:04  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 08.12.2011 at 23:50
You're an idiot.


Agreed, he is.

As for "Mechanize", I wouldn't quite put it up there with the likes of "Obsolete" or "Demanufacture", but it is mostly a very good album with even the ocassional flash of classic Fear Factory shown at times too. Oh, and "Christploitation" is a monster of a song!
Thrash del Sur - 09.12.2011 at 20:55  
Written by Angelic Storm on 09.12.2011 at 08:04

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 08.12.2011 at 23:50
You're an idiot.


Agreed, he is.

As for "Mechanize", I wouldn't quite put it up there with the likes of "Obsolete" or "Demanufacture", but it is mostly a very good album with even the ocassional flash of classic Fear Factory shown at times too. Oh, and "Christploitation" is a monster of a song!


I revisited the album. I have to take back what I wrote before, this is not a metalcore. Some parts sounded to me metalcorish, but hey!! they invented that breakdown stuff which are copied over and over again by metalcore bands.

Thanx to correct me, you both: Katy Perry and the Cat Lady hehehe.
!J.O.O.E.! - 09.12.2011 at 21:03  
Written by Thrash del Sur on 09.12.2011 at 20:55

Thanx to correct me, you both: Katy Perry

I do kiss girls and I like it.
Thrash del Sur - 09.12.2011 at 21:07  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 09.12.2011 at 21:03

Written by Thrash del Sur on 09.12.2011 at 20:55

Thanx to correct me, you both: Katy Perry

I do kiss girls and I like it.


I know Katy, we all know!
Kuroboshi - 12.03.2012 at 13:18  
I've never understood what all the fuss about this band was, until now. I mean, except Demanufacture, all of their earlier stuff are bad to OK at best. But this! Hoglan just rips the drum apart, and their style has just blossomed. A perfect album. And Final Exit might be one of the best closers of all time.

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