Uncle Chunt

Fear Factory – Genexus: Album Review

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I know I have harped about this album a number of times already but I want people to know about it. I believe it is truly a testament to what Fear Factory is musically. It’s a brilliant landmark for this band in my opinion

For those that have followed their albums and the concepts behind each one would understand how this one is almost a culmination of what has come before. Burton C. Bell was originally inspired by the first Terminator film which heavily influenced their break out album “Demanufacture”. Ever since that album going on 20 years now, he has always instilled stories within the lyrics of Man vs Machine and what that means for humanity. These ideals are evident in most of their album art and if you look at them in order they tell a story of progression and change towards this singularity.

Now with Genexus their latest concept album, Burton has been reading a lot of Ray Kurzweil’s work on “The Singularity”, which is basically the era of when machines become sentient. Also Blade Runner and the Rutger Hauer character Roy Batty was a great influence for key elements of this journey. As much so that Rutger Hauger’s improvised “tears in the rain” monologue in the aforementioned Blade Runner film features in the final and heart pounding, powerful track off the album “Expiration Date”. At the launch party for this album they even had Blade Runner being viewed  from a projector as the album played.

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With standout tracks like “Anodized”, “Soul Hacker”, “Genexus”, “Regenerate”, “Battle for Utopia” and “Expiration Date” this is an audible journey that Fear Factory appears to have really outdone themselves with akin to the greatness that is the “Obsolete” album. Burton’s haunting and eerie melodies are some of the cleanest I have heard. They set a mood for one that I can’t quite describe but very much paints the picture of the world for this story.

The trademark riffage and tone from Dino Casarez is here in force and as great as ever. The intricate, catchy syncopation at work is true to form and supports a rhythm enhancing the story being told to us within each track. It is also great to hear for the most part they have live drums again which gives it the feel required that was missing from their last album, Transgression. Even with all the member changes over recent years and ex-member lawsuits, the fact this album is as great as it is, really is a marvel.

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As a long time Fear Factory fan, their music has been the soundtrack to my life, so to have this album impress me on so many levels after 20 years only reinvigorates my love of their music and the band as a whole. If you haven’t listened to Fear Factory before or missed a few albums, I can’t recommend this album high enough. So far since release I’ve had repeat listens at least once or twice a day. This will be my go to album for some time.

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