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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.
With Burton C Bell's departure from the band in September 2020, the hunt for a new vocalist began and the position was filled by 35 year old Italian, multi-instrumentalist, producer and vocalist Milo Silvestro. Having just completed a Northern American tour with Static-X, Fear Factory are due to begin work on new material and what better time is there to rank their 10 studio albums?
Released in 2005, Transgression is the second studio album written and recorded after Dino Cazares' departure from the band. It's the least Fear Factory sounding record in the band's discography and has split fan opinion over the years but it isn't necessarily a bad album; it's just missing that spark. It's also the only other record in the band's discography apart from their debut that doesn't involve Rhys Fulber.
Stand Out Tracks: New Promise (which was co-written by Lamb of God's Mark Morton) and Transgression.
9) Soul of a New Machine
Released in 1992 and is the band's ground-breaking debut. Even though this was the first record ever released by the band, it was actually the second album to be recorded; Concrete was recorded in 1991 but it wasn't released until 2002. Soul of a New Machine saw the mix of clean and brutal vocals which was rare at the time and makes this record so ground-breaking.
Stand Out Tracks: Martyr, Scapegoat and Lifeblind
Released in 2004 and was the first record to be released following Dino's departure from the band. There is controversy surrounding the title track being directed at Dino ("the infection has been removed, the soul of the machine has improved"). But considering Archetype was included in the band's setlist recently, it could be argued that the track has been turned around on Burton. The record as a whole still maintains that core Fear Factory sound and despite it being so low in this ranking, it is a great album.
Stand Out Tracks: Slave Labor, Archetype and Bite the Hand That Bleeds
Released in 2001 was not a commercial success however it still proves popular within the fan base, especially since it produced massive crowd-pleaser 'Linchpin.' Although a recurring theme within the band's work is that of man versus machine, Digimortal forms the final chapter of a 3-part conceptual trilogy which also includes Obsolete and Demanufacture.
Stand Out Tracks: Damaged, Linchpin, Invisible Wounds and Memory Imprints.
6) The Industrialist
Released in 2012, this is another concept album and the first since the original conceptual trilogy. An amalgamation of all the scientific, technological and mechanical advances went on to create the protagonist 'The Industrialist' which becomes sentient and gains the will to live. A very dramatic record throughout.
Stand Out Tracks: The Industrialist, Recharger, New Messiah and Deparved Mind Murder.
Released in 2015 this is probably Fear Factory's catchiest and more melodic record to date compared to previous records however it still retains that core Fear Factory sound with heavy, industrial synths. Dielectric is the biggest stand out track from this record with an absolutely stunning video to accompany it.
Stand Out Tracks: Soul Hacker, Dielectric, Protomech, Genexus and Regenerate
Released in 2010, this record saw the return of Dino Cazares to the band and it's the only record to feature Gene Hoglan on the drums. A notably more heavy and aggressive record which saw a breath of new life in the machine.
Stand Out Tracks: Industrial Discipline, Fear Campaign, Powershifter, Controlled Demolition and Final Exit
Released in 1998, Obsolete is the second chapter of the conceptual 3-part trilogy surrounding man and the machine. An incredibly popular album which broke the band in to the mainstream. It features a cover of Gary Numan's iconic track 'Cars' to which he contributed his vocals and appeared in the accompanying music video. Numan also contributed his voice to the spoken word section of the track 'Obsolete.'
Stand Out Tracks: Shock, Edgecrusher, Descent, Resurrection and Cars
2) Aggression Continuum
Released in 2021, this was the band's 10th studio album which is quite a milestone to achieve. It was originally recorded in 2017 however it was delayed due to various legal and personal issues within the band which has been well documented and both sides have openly discussed. This would be the final record to feature Burton's vocals. A highly atmospheric and memorable record with catchy hooks and industrial heaviness.
Stand Out Tracks: Recode, Aggression Continuum, Collapse and Monolith
Released in 1995, an iconic album and the first chapter of the original 3-part conceptual trilogy. This record was the gateway for a lot (not all) Fear Factory fans and still remains relevant and highly impactful to this day; most certainly the backbone of the band's career. Not to mention the epic inclusion of 'Zero Signal' in THAT Mortal Kombat movie fight scene between Scorpion and Johnny Cage.
Stand Out Tracks: The entire record, from start to finish.
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