Fear Factory

From Academic Kids

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Fear Factory (Left to right) Christian Olde Wolbers, Byron Stroud, Raymond Herrera, Burton C. Bell. Photo by Omer R. Cordell of Seventh Frame Photography. www.seventhframe.com.

Fear Factory is a Los Angeles, California-based industrial metal quartet fronted by co-founder and self-styled 'Dry Lung Vocal Martyr' Burton C. Bell.

Contents

Biography

Fear Factory was formed on October 31, 1990 in Los Angeles, California. Characterised by a mix of thrash metal guitar riffs, roaring vocals that make way for melodic singing, pulse driving drum beats, and powerful basslines, Fear Factory has been making waves in both the American death metal and industrial metal scene since their debut album, Soul of a New Machine (1992).

The following year, they hired Front Line Assembly member Rhys Fulber to remix some songs to create Fear is the Mindkiller (1993). In 1994, bassist Andrew Shives was forced to leave the band. In the same year, bassist Christian Olde Wolbers met the band whilst vacationing in LA and agreed to assist them with their next recording, Demanufacture (1995), which went on to become a hugely successful album. <p> Fear Factory spent the next few years touring with such bands as Black Sabbath, Megadeth, and Iron Maiden. The band released a new album composed of Demanufacture remixes called Remanufacture in May 1997, closely followed in July 1998 by their new album, Obsolete, cancelling an appearance at the Dynamo Open Air Festival to finish completion of the album sooner. Wasting no time, they hit the road with Slayer and then began another tour with Rammstein. Proponents of the concept album, Fear Factory have explored the idea of "Man versus Machine" throughout their work. Concerning their album, "Obsolete," lead singer Burton C. Bell explained:

"The concept of this record is that man is obsolete. The idea is still man versus machine - man versus the system machine... man versus the government machine. Demanufacture told a story, Remanufacture was another chapter in the story and Obsolete is another part of the Fear Factory concept. We're up to the point in the story where man is obsolete. Man has created these machines to make his life easier but in the long run it made him obsolete. The machines he created are now destroying him. Man is not the primary citizen on Earth."
The band started to build success on the album charts. Soul of a New Machine failed to chart anywhere. Demanufacture made the top 10 of the Billboard Heatseekers charts looking at bands seeking to build a name for themselves. Remanufacture made the Billboard 200 album charts as well as the Heatseekers Chart in 1997. Obsolete reached the top 100 on the Billboard charts and spawned a couple of songs that made the Mainstream Rock Top 40 in 1999 in "Cars" and "Descent". In 2001, Digimortal made the top 40 on the Billboard album charts, the top 20 in Canada and the top 50 of the Australian album charts. "Linchpin" off the album again reached the Mainstream Rock Top 40. Following some personal differences between band members, Bell announced his exit in March 2002, and the band disbanded immediately thereafter. However, the band reformed later that year minus guitarist Dino Cazares, bassist Christian Olde Wolbers took over guitar duties and they hired Byron Stroud on bass, currently bassist of the bands Strapping Young Lad and Zimmer's Hole. The new lineup's first album Archetype was released in spring 2004 through new record label Liquid 8 Records based in Minnesota. A new album, Transgression, is being worked on with an August 2005 release date. They are also confirmed to tour on the main stage of Gigantour, with Megadeth and Dream Theater.

Categorization and Sound

<p>

Although "industrial metal" is usually applied, the true "metal" genre of the South-Central LA based band has been subject under moderate discussion.

<p>

Their first demos were strongly reminiscent to legendary British death metallers Napalm Death, along with Godflesh, who were not only tourmates but influences brought up by the band as well. Ironically, some of Justin Broadrick's vocals are comparable to those of Burton C. Bell after he discontinued the death grunt. His vocal style was considered ground breaking on Soul of a New Machine because no one before had ever mixed death grunts with melodic singing and this influenced many other metal vocalists.

<p>

Moreover, as other traditional death metal strong structures began to fade, they incorporated more of an "aggro-groove" into their sound, not so different than the style of Sepultura's 1996, "Roots" - an album many long-time fans spelt as the end of the band's death/thrash metal days. This new direction put both bands on the map as a nu-metal influence, eventhough both bands were never closely a part of the genre and their sound was still too extreme for radio standards. 

<p>

In many ways, there was also a very limited industrial essence that made Fear Factory an industrial metal band. While Ministry were known for making industrial textures just as important as guitar riffs, Fear Factory were

more conservatively heavy metal with some trance-like samples edited in to cyber-fast production. <p>

Regardless, the band has often been called a "stepping stone" leading mainstream listeners to venture into less-known/more-extreme bands, and one of few heavy metal bands consistently appreciated in the most polarizing and bitter of music genres.

Line-up

Former members

Discography

Albums

Compilation/Live/Remixes

Singles

External link

fr:Fear Factory pl:Fear Factory

sv:Fear Factory

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