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Fear Factory Genexus – Review
FEAR FACTORY
GENEXUS

NUCELAR BLAST
Release Date: August 7th 2015



It's always exciting for me when news comes out that Fear Factory are bringing out a new album. It's been well over 20 years since I first heard "Soul Of A New Machine" and I have been following them through all the ups and downs ever since and never has my passion for the band ever gone down. With Dino Cazares coming back to the band on "Mechanize" a few years back, it felt like the band were heading back to the trademark sound they had been missing for some time. "The Industrialist" brought back the more industrial sound but the latest effort "Genexus" takes elements of the last 2 albums as well as the electronic components of earlier albums and comes up with a very cohesive and signature Fear Factory album.

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Opening with the very industrialized titled "Autonomous Combat System", complete with symphonic intro and that trademark Fear Factory riffage, it's all systems go from here. A strong sci-fi theme powers the song with Burton's vocals stepping in under it. A melodic chorus and an ending that is a little reminiscnent of the outro to "Zero Signal" sees the first track kick things off to a very good start. "Anodized" sounds like something off "Digimortal" with a more lighter touch than standard Fear Factory tracks but "Dielectic" brings the listener back to the heavier tone again with a violin-like intro and a real mechanical groove which moves the song along. First single "Soulhacker" is maybe one of the weaker tracks on here, again sounding like something off "Digimortal" but a fitting song to tease fans with as it sits along the same lines as "Linchpin" or "Replica". An easier track to take in and of note here is the little guitar soley thing midway through the track which is extremely rare on a Fear Factory album. "Protomech" is vintage Fear Factory though with "Demanufacture" type machine gun riffs and the hammer of clicky drums overriding everything, this is probably one of the strongest songs on the album and one that hopefully gets played live.

Taking a breather halfway to get a sense of how things are flowing on this album, it's definitely hitting all the right ingredients that fans love about Fear Factory. The electronic side of things is much more prominent on this album than ever before and the more lively feel of the drums is a huge plus as the programmed drums on the last album didn't sit too well with a lot of people. Mike Heller does a great job behind the kit and blends it well with Dino's riffing which is exactly what Fear Factory's trademark sound is. Burton's vocals are more melodic this time around which reminds me a lot of "Obsolete" and "Digimortal" but there are really elements of everything that Fear Factory have done on this album.

Continuing on with the title track "Genexus", it's a fitting song for the album and it jumps a little into "Obsolete" territory here. It's hard not to keep comparing these songs to previous albums but those elements from previous work can really be found everywhere on this album. "Church Of Execution" is more upbeat and strays away from the darker tones of previous tracks. A very catchy, robotic beat which I can imagine seeing this one being played live as well. "Regenerate" has a somewhat "Archetype" vibe in the melodic sense but it's the lyrics that stand out on this one which makes it seem like a more personal song. It's an uplifting track with Burton singing "Look In My Eyes, it's not over....I will survive" as one of the standouts on the lyric front. It's another track that I think could go over really well live.

Usually songs are more weaker by the tail end of the album but with "Battle For Utopia", it's got to be just about the best song on the album. With a galloping riff bringing the first verse to life and in contrast a mellower chorus starting things off, the song deviates away from those parts immediately and goes for a more epic feel all the while switching between heavy and melodic through-out. People may disagree and pick out other songs as their favorite but for me, this is one of the standouts. Final track "Expiration date" is the traditional ambient, mood song that is focused more on electronics than guitars like "A Therapy For Pain" or "(Memory Imprints) Never End" which stray completely away from the heavy guitar oriented kind of music. It's the only way to end this Fear Factory album and overall, if you love this band and have followed the band's evolution to where they are now, there will be elements here for sure that you will pick up on and embrace. While it's nothing spectacularly new for the band or the fans, it is a Fear Factory album in every way possible.


TRACKLIST
Autonomous Combat System
Anodized
Dielectric
Soul Hacker
Protomech
Genexus
Church of Execution
Regenerate
Battle for Utopia
Expiration Date

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Review by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie