Fear Factory - The Best of Fear Factory

Emerging from Los Angeles in the early 90's, Fear Factory has carved a steady career in producing a brutal yet melodic brand of music known as 'cyber metal'. This best of from Roadrunner Records spans their respective career on the metal hotbed label from 1992's Soul Of A New Machine to 2001's Digimortal. With the theme of man vs. machine running through these albums, this matches Fear Factory's sheer brutality committed to record.

The album kicks of with 'Martyr', 'Scapegoat' and 'Scumgrief' from Soul Of A New Machine, probably the bands most brutal output . The death metal and industrial influences are perhaps most in these tracks. 'Scapegoat' sounds like Napalm Death tangling with Korn in a backstreet scrap. The down-tuned grooves match vocalist Burton C. Bell switching from a cookie monster to almost melodic crooning.

The bulk of the album's material comes from the Fear Factory's breakthrough albums Demanufacture and Obsolete. Here the band seem at there most unforgiving. Demanufacture's title track and 'Replica' pummel the listener into submission.

Obsolete showcased Fear Factory's polished song writing skills and tightness as a unit whilst remaining brutal as ever. In retrospective one can the influence Fear Factory had on the nu-metal, (just look at successors Static X and Spineshank). 'Shock' has the power and down tuned grooved channelled by guitarist Dino Cazares whilst Bell's vocal schizophrenic vocals are more refined and deadly. 'Resurrection' sees the band at their most melodic painting a post apocalyptic picture with words and melody. The industrial re-working of new waver Gary Numan's 'Cars' shows the band at the most radio friendly as does 'Linchpin' from 2001's Digimortal.

Fear Factory may not be the same machine that were ten years ago, there have been many upgrades to the unit including the removal of Cazares and the inclusion of new member Byron Stroud with Christian Olde Wolbers switching from bass to guitar. Nevertheless the band still put out solid record but the album is a fitting tribute to their legacy on the musical landscape.