Release Date: August 7, 2015
So, in the 00’s Fear Factory almost turned into a hard rock band. Then the “band” surprised everybody as vocalist Burton C. Bell and guitarist Dino Cazares reunited and begin performing as Fear Factory without the others. Then came the drum machine replacing Gene Hoglan and all of its drama. With all of that finally long settled, Genexus, in essence, becomes the first Fear Factory album without garbage attached to it. What this album proves is that Bell and Cazares still can sound like Demanufacture. They haven’t lost a step and apparently don’t really need anyone else to make it work.
The album opens with a strong trio of tunes that immediately bring to mind the band’s most successful years. Electronically tinged staccato riffs are pounded to life amongst a mix of gruntly shouts and soaring choruses during “Autonomous Combat System,” “Anodized,” and “Dielectric.” All three are strong evidence that the band still has it in the same way AC/DC still has it.
Balancing out the modified Metalcore assault are some bouncy, nearly Nu Metal, tunes that are solid amped up anthems. “Soul Hacker” and “Church of Execution” are the best examples of this side of the bands sound. The latter even brought to mind how much Powerman 5000 stole from these guys on the Dreamworks albums. Both have a nice brutal edge to them that I really dig, especially vocally.
The album’s closer, “Expiration Date” is my personal favorite track though and the only surprising moment on Genexus. It’s a soaring near-ballad that journeys through almost nine minutes of astounding atmospheres. It’s big and bright and futuristic and the clean vocals throughout just take the album out on a really good vibe, making you want to come back for more almost immediately. I wish there were more songs like this on this album.
This album is certainly classic Fear Factory. If you are looking for the mildly progressive elements found on albums like Soul of a New Machine or Archetype, then you will be sorely disappointed. With that said, if you are looking to hear the Fear Factory you remember from their heyday, Genexus is all about what you crave.
Reviewed by Mark 1340