The Bottom Line
- Most aggressive Fear Factory album in over a decade.
- Dino Cazares' riffs and Gene Hoglan's drumming working in sync together.
- "Final Exit" is one of the band’s best songs ever.
- "Designing the Enemy" and interlude "Metallic Division" drag the album slightly down.
- Released February 9, 2010 on Candlelight Records.
- Fear Factory’s seventh album.
- First Fear Factory studio album in five years.
Guide Review - Fear Factory - 'Mechanize'
Mechanize is the first album with guitarist Dino Cazares in the line-up since 2001’s Digimortal. While Christian Olde Wolbers was a decent guitarist, Cazares’ riffs and melodies were the soul of early Fear Factory material. With him back in the fold, the band takes on a more wicked form that hearkens back to the Demanufacture days. There are times where riffs seem like unused Divine Heresy ideas, but Mechanize feels like an old-fashioned Fear Factory album thanks in part to Dino’s work.
Dino isn’t the only one that helps to bring back a classic sound for the band. Burton C. Bell has a bite to his harsh vocals that has been missing for years, though his clean vocals are still hit-or-miss. At times, they sound forced, but in songs like “Final Exit,” they retain a haunting effect. Keyboardist Rhys Fulber is brought back into the fray to provide bleak samples and subtle piano work that adds an emotional weight to the lifeless atmosphere.
The album is an even blend of heavy, towering behemoths of ferocity and calculated epics. “Powershifter” and “Oxidizer” are some of the fastest songs the band has composed since Soul Of A New Machine, both of which are held together by the precise playing of drumming legend Gene Hoglan. “Fear Campaign” and “Christploitation” help to break up the monotony of a constant barraging, slowing thing down and incorporating a vast array of samples and programming. Closer “Final Exit” is the best of this bunch, an eight-minute opus that has a majestic beauty underneath its stark attire of metallic riffs and noisy rhythm work. “Final Exit” is easily the best ending to any Fear Factory album to date.
A return to form for Fear Factory, Mechanize is an accumulation of all the elements from the definitive era of the band. There is a sense of renewed energy and vision within the band, as if Archetype and Transgression were nothing more than minor footnotes in the band’s history that should best be forgotten. Mechanize can be held side-by-side with the best of Fear Factory’s catalog as a gloomy premonition into what the band perceives the future of humanity to be.