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Review of the Album "Mechanize" by Fear Factory

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Mechanize Features the Drumming Contribution of Gene Hoglan

Mechanize is more than just the 7th studio album by American industrial thrash metal band Fear Factory. It is also an album the features the drumming of the one and only Gene Hoglan who of course made a name for himself back in the 1990s being the drummer for Chuck Schuldiner’s band Death. In this 2010 album for Fear Factory, he once again contributes for one of the longest Southern California metal bands. Yes, Fear Factory is that old, going back to 1990. Also, Fear Factory is one of those bands that is really difficult for the listener to sit through an entire album due to their rough, aggressive riffs and overall feel of the sound. These guys have some of the angriest and aggressive industrial thrash metal you will ever hear. You can even hear that in the vocal style of Burton C. Bell. Fear Factory is not like Metallica and they never will be.

Fear Factory May Be a Very One Dimensional Metal Band Though

Fear Factory is a band that has lyrical themes about many typical real life issues combined with a heavy sort of sludge filled riff construction to create some of the heaviest industrial metal you will ever hear. Listening to the music of Fear Factory long enough, you get the sense that they have built their musical foundation of riffs that are fast, heavy, and have the sludge metal feel to them. However, in the song called “Christploitation” they did have a slight variation using the keyboards to start things off which is good. However, the riffs in these albums can have that tendency to get stale because other than that heavy industrial sound that has defined the career of this band, there is often times little musical variation. That’s not to say that Fear Factory’s music is terrible. It is just that they have decided to construct their music in this style.

The Bigger Significance of the Album Mechanize

Mechanize is an album that lyrically lets the status quo know that they will not tolerate any exploitation of any kind. The title track actually has that sort of sound that defines the start of the song such as we heard in the song Dead Embryonic Cells. The song is pretty much about the fact that due to the rise in technology there are both pros and cons, one of the cons being that due to human selfishness and greed, it can lead to extinction of mankind and we have the potential to become mechanized like robots. At least that is the impression that I get from this song. We have in a sense slaves to the system which is to say that the song is telling us that we are forced to comply with certain standards. This can also apply to relationships as some people are forced to comply with a manipulative partner at the risk of alienating them. There may be a certain set of reasons why the band’s name is Fear Factory but whether this is a coincidence or not, there is a song on this album called “Fear Campaign” which is a song that lyrically discusses about all the ways in which fear could be spread in our society. People can also spread fears around as they intimidate others so that they can keep them under control. Fear may sometimes be our biggest enemy and it has the potential to paralyze us though not in the literal sense. “Powershifter” is a really heavy song that is lyrically about challenging authority and the status quo of certain things such as those that make the decision to engage in war.

Final Thoughts

"Metallic Division" is a one minute and thirty second industrial metal song that really doesn’t have much going for it. Not that it is a terrible song but it just sounds very typical of that sub-genre and it doesn’t have that sort of wow factor to it. Mechanize is an album that certainly has its moments of musical goodness to it such as the end of the song “Powershifter” but it just lacks that elite feel to it because it is a sort of mixed musical effort. It is not a really poor musical effort by any means but it just does not have the usual strength that the earlier albums may have h

"Final Exit"

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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