Release Date: April 20, 2004
Reviewed by Jeff Brinn
As virtual constructers of the brash industrial/synthesizer metal sound FEAR FACTORY have made a very powerful return and I was fortunate enough to get my dirty paws on a advance copy of their futuristic masterpiece.
With the departure of Dino Cazares on guitar in 2002 the state of FEAR FACTORY was in heavy question by the hordes of fans that had helped build them into having a very solid underground following. With online posts by lead vocalists Burton C. Bell the band was said to still be in existence but who would have ever guessed that Archetype would pack such an awesome punch.
With Archetype the listener is taken on a brutal journey that showcases just how imperative this band is for the metal world. Taking over guitar duties is long-time FEAR FACTORY bassist Christian Olde Wolbers. One would think that switching from bass to lead guitar would have been a difficult leap but Wolbers takes this step in utter flawless stride proving that this was a choice well made. Raymond Herrera’s drumming techniques are still brutal and tight giving FEAR FACTORY that skull crushing edge that fans have thrived on since their incarnation 14 years ago. Herrera’s drumming has in fact always been the driving force and with Archetype he further proves how understated a drummer he actually is. Joining FEAR FACTORY on bass duties is former Strapping Young Lad member Byron Stroud rounding out one damn powerful four piece to say the very least. John Bechdel as well returned to the recording sessions for Archetype adding his hypnotic touch on keyboards/programming and will join FEAR FACTORY on the road as well.
Archetype is by all means a brutal album not straying from their patent sound fans have embraced. From the opening track “Slave Labor” FEAR FACTORY pound you into submission with such a bottom heavy edge taking a very straightforward jab at the music industry. “Cyberwaste” is an all too powerful song directed at online chatters and all the shit talking these people indulge themselves into. “Corporate Cloning” is a very groove driven cut dealing with the world’s infatuation with the efforts of cloning as well showcases Bell’s cleaner vocal style. “Human Shields” displays a more textured and memorizing side to FEAR FACTORY and at times is almost soothing. With out giving away too much more of the surprise that awaits fans I would easily have to say that this is easily FEAR Factory’s strongest release to date. Archetype is a masterpiece for the metal world that will surely spread world wide giving them hordes of new fans hungry for something with substance and non-contrived fake metal.
After recently ripping thru a well received set at the famous BIG DAY OUT festival in Australia FEAR FACTORY are now confirmed to have a slot on the JAGERMEISTER MUSIC TOUR with headliners SLIPKNOT which guarantees to be one hell of a ominous tour.