Review: Fear Factory – Genexus

Posted: July 25, 2015 in Reviews
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Fear Factory - Genexus

Fear Factory have been, and probably will be, one of the bands that changed my perception of heavy music. When I was a kid, it was all Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit. Then one night I saw the video for ‘Linchpin’ on Kerrang and it blew my mind. I loved the cold, industrial thud, the razor sharp riffs and the machine gun double kicks that FF brought to my table. Their early work is wildly influential, and although their later output varies from very average (Transgression) to sublime (Mechanize), I always look forward to a new Fear Factory record.

After 2013’s ‘The Industrialist’, which I didn’t give as much time to as I’d wanted to, ‘Genexus’ has a lot to live up to. As ‘Autonomous Combat System’ kicks in, all the traditional Fear Factory tropes are there. The stop start razorblade riffing of Dino Cazares, the relentless drumming of Mike Heller and the instantly recognisable roar of Burton C Bell. Everything they do is instantly recognisable. The band know what they do well and stick to said formula. So does that still cut it these days? Take lead single ‘Dielectric’, or the super heavy ‘Anodized’ as examples. The latter contains the album’s finest soaring chorus, with Bell’s vast clean vocals a highlight. ‘Dielectric’ could be a cut from ‘Digimortal’, but ramped up to eleven.

‘Soul Hacker’ is a choppy and strangely addictive tune, that worms its way into your mind and won’t leave. ‘Protomech’ is urgent in its release, filling the double kick quota for about three albums in just shy of five minutes. The title track combines lashings of melodies with a thunderously heavy delivery. ‘Regenerate’ has that same glorious feeling that ‘Resurrection’ brought us back in 1998. ‘Genexus’ feels in parts like Fear Factory combining all their finest moments into one record.

The real question is how relevant is a new Fear Factory album in this modern age of metal? Their sound is no longer as cutting edge as it was 15 years ago, with so many bands ripping off their cold, industrialised death metal. Listening to ‘Genexus’ makes me realise how many djent bands have an unwitting debt to Fear Factory too. But for me, there’s no one that pulls it off as well as them, and ‘Genexus’ is another stellar example of when an older, influential band get back to the drawing board and show the young pups how to slay. The magic of the Bell/Cazares double act strikes again, and ‘Genexus fits right into their discography comfortably.


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