Fear Factory - _Archetype_
(Liquid 8, 2004)
by: Xander Hoose (
If I had to make a list of bands that have taken a hard fall in their career, Fear Factory would be ranking somewhere at the top. With their immensely successful and genre-breaking album _Demanufacture_ and the critical acclaim for their groundbreaking _Remanufacture_ remix album, Fear Factory's seemed to have carved a bright future for themselves. But _Obsolete_ disappointed and didn't do quite as well as expected, while follow-up _Digimortal_ was pretty much ignored by the masses. And so Fear Factory called it a day, releasing the horrible _Hatefiles_ compilation to get rid of their contract.2004 shows the return of revitalized Fear Factory. Dino Cazares has left the band. Long-time member Christian Olde-Wolbers is on guitars. Strapping Young Lad Byron Stroud is on bass. Many changes that will leave the audience wondering how pathetic this renewed attempt will be; one only needs to think of Sepultura and Metallica to have at least some scepticism about such insurrections. Thankfully, Fear Factory is for once not trying to 'create something new' or 'reinvent music'. Instead, they just do what they do best: making fast, aggressive tunes with a techno-approach. While this might sound a somewhat vague description, imagine a cross between _Demanufacture_ and _Obsolete_ if you will. The whole album flows by (sorry: pounds by) naturally. It is evident that Fear Factory is pissed, but for the first time in a long period their venting sounds natural instead of forced.The thing I like least about _Archetype_ is that most of the songs follow the same structure, building up and breaking down in exactly the same fashion. It tends to blend songs together, give them less individual power. Perhaps this is the real area where Fear Factory should progress in: adding diversity to their well-proved concept. Nonetheless, with ballads like "Bite the Hand That Feeds", powerhouses like "Bonescraper" and a Nirvana cover, I can't be too harsh. _Archetype_ is an unexpected yet very convincing return for Fear Factory. Good to have you back.
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