Fear Factory

Genexus

Written by: PP on 27/09/2015 19:25:36

"Genexus" is the ninth studio album by Fear Factory and the third one following the reunion with guitarist Dino Cazares in 2009. Both preceding albums, "The Industrialist" and especially 2010's "Mechanize", were fantastic industrial metal records that restored Fear Factory firmly to the throne of the genre thanks to genius songwriting that combined clever riffs compressed into enormously dense chunks to give their sound a punishing heaviness and instantly catchy, hauntingly beautiful clean vocal choruses. Let's remember that this was what inspired Slipknot in the 90s, after all, despite the continuing woes of Burton C. Bell's horrific clean vocal performances live, mind you, which genre purists continue to argue relies too much on autotune mastering on record to work live.

In real simple terms, "Genexus" continues their strong back-to-form run with another handful of fantastic industrial metal pieces that leave most of their genre counterparts in shame. "Dielectric" is instantly catchy, "Protomech" delivers some familiar lightning speed triggered drums alongside another ultra catchy chorus, whereas "Soul Hacker" contains Slipknot undertones induced via its violence-groove rhythm. "Renegerate" is as quintessential Fear Factory as tracks come: crushing industrial metal pounding with compressed riffs for the verses, a great foreshadowing bridge section, and another one of Burton's soaring clean sections for the chorus. "Battle For Utopia" is almost understated in its subtle clean melodies, but it hits hard once it opens up after a couple of listens.

The album finale "Expiration Date" is a weird one. Featuring elements of post-rock and ambitious indie rock, it certainly doesn't sound like Fear Factory as we know it. For almost nine minutes, the track focuses on the polar opposite of a densely compressed soundscape, instead allowing the soft guitars to echo in a stadium-sized soundscape. Soothing, calm vocals and a few spoken-word passages arise alongside classical piano to an extent that resembles Angels And Airwaves - not exactly a reference I thought I'd ever use in the context of a Fear Factory album review. It's an interesting experiment that closes the album on a soft note, but it's a surprisingly good track in the end. After all, Fear Factory in this lineup combination doesn't usually write bad tracks. That is also predominantly the case on "Genexus" - another fine industrial metal album that should be the starting point for anyone interested to discover what the genre is all about. Not as good as "Mechanize", but on par with "The Industrialist", for sure.

8

Download: Dielectric, Soul Hacker, Protomech, Regenerate, >
For the fans of: Static-X, Mnemic, Sybreed, Raunchy, Slipknot
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.08.2015
Nuclear Blast

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