Posted on August 13th, 2015 (12:00 pm) by Addison Herron-Wheeler

Fear Factory are one of those bands who need no introduction for the average metal fan – even if your tastes run more to extreme death metal, esoteric black metal, or introspective doom, you’re at least familiar with Fear Factory. Maybe you blasted them in your bedroom when you were a teen, maybe your brother’s friend owned all their records; in any case, you’re familiar. These guys have been churning out tunes since 1989, making them the same age as myself, and have gone through a plethora of sound and stylistic changes since their formation.

The group has always had heavy death metal and industrial leanings, but in later years their sound became more accessible (although still brutal) and they were lumped in with the “nu metal” bands of the early 2000s. In fact they were one of the primary inspirations for said bands. They also got a lot of media attention recently for going back and forth about who had rights to the band, calling up the age-old question of how many original members can be lost before a band needs to change their name.

With all this in mind, I was not quite sure what to expect from yet another Fear Factory offering. Genexus, like most of their releases, frankly looks a bit generic to me. The cover and logo are nothing new, the title is not very imaginative, and my cynical side immediately conjured up images of a band slapping together a record for the sake of paying off all the lawyer fees they just accrued.

Rather than another clunky, half-assed offering, however, Fear Factory have gone back to their roots with this one to bring us something relevant.Genexus has much stronger industrial leanings than some of their recent work, and goes more towards the weird, experimental side than the pissed-off-dude anthems they have been making lately. Rather than retreat into repetitive riffs, angry lyrics, and what basically amounts to hypnotizing but meaningless music, the guys have now opted for bringing back a bit of the electronic drums that Godflesh are famous for, the samples, and the riskier elements that set them apart in the world of metal in the first place, but that they have largely gotten away from in recent years. Also, there are a few songs on the record that really stand out. “Church of Execution” has some good lyrics and is really catchy and aggressive, and “Soul Hacker” is pure Fear Factory groove, reaching back to their days of groovy, riff-heavy death metal of the early 90s. I could do without the tired and ironically titled regression that is “Regenerate,” the signature poppy metal song from the days when bands like this felt they needed to produce one for each album. But all things considered, this record is diverse and interesting, and the electronic elements and experimentation keep it afloat and help the record really flow.

If you’ve never been a fan of Fear Factory, I doubt you’ll be converted by this record. Like all albums so late in the career of a band, it is certainly not their strongest offering to date, and someone discovering the group should definitely look to more classic releases first, like Soul of a New Machine or Archetype. However, if you’ve been following the band since day one and you’ve been disappointed by their past few lackluster releases, this should be a breath of fresh air.

Track List:

  1. Autonomous Combat System
  2. Anodized
  3. Dielectric
  4. Soul Hacker
  5. Protomech
  6. Genexus
  7. Church of Execution
  8. Regenerate
  9. Battle for Utopia
  10. Expiration Date
Fear Factory Genexus Album Cover
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

59 / 100
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