It’s no secret that Fear Factory is an unstoppable machine forever pushing forward regardless of what may lay before them. From legal issues to inner band arguments between members, nothing has deterred the machine from generating material of the highest magnitude consistently throughout their 32 year tenure despite the turbulence they have endured.

Machines require technology and resources in order to function and this one is no different. Fear Factory have never been afraid to experiment and have embraced the use of technology in various aspects throughout the years. The band first decided to experiment with remixes with the release of Fear Is The Mindkiller in 1993; a remixed version of their first album Soul of a New Machine. It was here that their lifelong collaboration with Rhys Fulber would be born. Met with confusion and dismissal from the onset, it was eventually embraced and then the band would go on to release their second remix album, the hugely popular Remanufacture (Cloning Technology) 4 years later.

As the machine pressed on, the need to release new music and tour became the priority and remix projects were set to one side. That is until the world came to a standstill with the outbreak of COVID-19. Time allowed the focus to shift to a new remix project and so, some 25 years after the release of Remanufacture, Recoded (Adapt or Die) was born.

Founding member and guitarist Dino Cazares says of Recoded: “We had time, it was COVID time. I was like “oh well, we can’t really get together to write music so I’ll just reach out to these remix guys and do it that way.” That’s why that idea came about. I also thought that Aggression Continuum was such a great album, I think just doing a remix version would just add to the greatness of it.”

Recoded opens with the spoken word foreword ‘Adapt or Die‘ narrated by Jake Stern. A dark and sinister introduction explaining the recoding and reconstruction of a “necessary system” which is indispensable. This blends seamlessly in to ‘Hatred Will Prevail‘ (Monolith) by Rhys Fulber. A fast-paced, driven track with a thumping beat and plenty of European EDM elements akin to the same kind of vibe as Remanufacture’s Machines of Hate. This is followed by ‘Disobey‘ (Disruptor) remixed by Zardonic; a soaring, industrially heavy, synth laden track which is both catchy and heavy whilst maintaining the original crushing riffs from Aggression Continuum. This will be the first track released from the record on the 2nd of September 2022. ‘I Am The Nightrider‘ (Fuel-Injected Suicide Machine) features both Zardonic and Dualized; keeping in with the original tribute to Mad Max, this track is both crushing yet ebbs and flows alternating between powerful, mid-tempo beats and soaring synths; this track varies throughout with many layered sounds. ‘Path to Salvation‘ (Purity) is a darker, mid-tempo club beat with Burton’s vocals distorted to align with Rhys Fulber‘s signature electro-industrial sound.

One of the stand-out tracks of the record is ‘Worthless‘ (End of Line) remixed by Zardonic. This track changes pace at the halfway point with an upbeat, late 80s/90s infused synth-wave. Burton’s vocals are notably crisp and clear in this track in particular. This comes in stark contrast to ‘Empires Fall‘ (Collapse) quite possibly one of the more industrially heavy tracks of the record. The original from Aggression Continuum was an industrially heavy track in its own right initially however Tyrants of Death have taken this and created a monstrously crushing track completely transforming it to incorporate ethereal synth, clean haunting vocals as well as brutal growls and an ominous grinding atmosphere. ‘System Assassin‘ (Aggression Continuum) maintains the original essence of the track but it has been expanded on by Rhys Fulber with atmospherically distorted vocals, crushing riffage and haunting synth.

Hypocrisy of Faith‘ (Manufactured Hope) sees the introduction of Rob Gee on the record. This track would be well placed on Remanufacture, holding the same ‘Hardcore/Gabber,’ EDM club scene influences heard on T-1000 (H-K Hunter Killer). It’s fast, pounding and stands out from the preceding industrially heavy tracks of the record. Zardonic’s last contribution to the record is ‘This Is My Life‘ (Cognitive Dissonance) a charging, industrially heavy assault which twists and turns between chugging brutal aggression and soaring synthesizers. The closing track of the CD version ‘Recoded‘ (Recode) introduces Blush Response. It begins with the famous ‘Fear Is The Mind Killer’ speech from Dune before descending in to the darkest track of the record. The original track has been warped and slowed down adding heavy distortion, an advancing beat creating an evocative atmosphere of foreboding as it ends with an ethereal choir on the backdrop of electro-industrial synth.

The vinyl version of Recoded comes with two bonus tracks. These tracks are not available on the CD version of Recoded. The first being ‘Turbo Factory‘ (End of Line) remixed by Turboslash. The vocals are heavily distorted between pure, demonic gutturals and ethereal, haunting cleans. The track dips and rises with a chugging ferocity and ascending synths. The second bonus track is ‘Break Off‘ (Disruptor) which begins with a warning alarm declaring “break-off” in a mechanically sinister style repeatedly before descending in to heavy, evocative synth produced by Rhys Fulber once more and Burton’s distorted growls and cleans.

Having waited 25 years to release a remix album, Recoded has proven that it can align with the magnitude and popularity of Remanufacture. Each contributor has their own signature sound, all different from the other yet the record flows seamlessly. Both incorporating modern technology and approaches whilst still maintaining the original essence of the EDM scene. Fear Factory have proven once again that experimentation pays off; having produced a blasting, evocative remix record completely transforming and adding to the magnificence that is Aggression Continuum.

Recoded” (Adapt or Die) will be released via Nuclear Blast on the 28th of October 2022. The first single ‘Disobey‘ (remixed ‘Disruptor‘) and album pre-order will be released and available on the 2nd of September 2022.

Check out the exclusive interview with Dino Cazares below.

Rating: 9/10

Released By: Nuclear Blast

Release Date: 28th October 2022

For Fans Of: Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Godflesh

Favourite Tracks: Hatred Will Prevail (Monolith), I Am The Nightrider (Fuel-Injected Suicide Machine), Worthless (End of Line), Empires Fall (Collapse)