Fear Factory

Aggression Continuum

Written by: PP on 25/10/2021 21:17:19

The amount of drama surrounding Fear Factory and its members seems never-ending. After what many perceived to be a stable period of five years resulting in one metal classic in "Mechanize" and two extremely solid follow-ups in 2012's "The Industrialist" and "Genexus" in 2015, the band descended into its usual chaos. Copyright lawsuits filed by former members against current ones, bankruptcy filings by both Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares at different times and all sorts of other drama has now resulted in one of the most recognizable vocalists in metal music to depart Fear Factory, leaving tenth album "Aggression Continuum" his last with the band. That's right, Burton C. Bell is no longer involved, although his vocals do feature here as they were recorded already back in 2017 amid the legal issues. It remains to be seen what will come of the band without his unique style, but for now, let's dissect his swansong.

To be perfectly honest, if you've listened to any of the last three Fear Factory records you already know what's coming. Humongous soundscapes featuring devastatingly dense walls of chunky guitars and Burton's instantly recognizable clean vocal chorus howls contrasting his throat-tearing verse barks. Yet something feels different. Yes, the drums are still triggered/programmed, but there's a hell of a lot more Meshuggah style djent influence in the guitars this time around. Just listen to "Collapse" - doesn't quite sound like it usually does, now does it? Especially when you factor in Bell's lower-end growls that'll take you back to their original brutalized format last seen during the 90s.

Otherwise, the soundscape delivers exactly what you want from a Fear Factory record. Bombastic industrial metal backed by equal measures hardcore chugging and symphonic ambiance. Songs like "Purity" and "Aggression Continuum" showcase why Burton C. Bell in the studio is one of the best there is, even if his live performances have often left much to be desired for. It's a crushing album that takes you from incredible claustrophobia-inducing compression to expansive, spacious symphonies in rapid succession. It's a record that continues to highlight the near-perfect dynamic between Dino Cazares' guitars and Bell's momentous vocal performances that many have attempted to clone since then, but none have come close. In true Bell style, "Aggression Continuum" remains as solid as ever, leaving behind a fine curtain call for one of the most formidable legacies in metal music.

8

Download: Purity, Manufactured Hope, Aggression Continuum, Cognitive Dissonance
For the fans of: Slipknot, Static-X, Mnemic, Sybreed, Raunchy
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.06.2021
Nuclear Blast

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