Fear Factory: The Industrialist

Cyber metal comes back to life.

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Almost 20 years ago, Fear Factory effectively created the cyber metal genre. Now they’re taking it a step or two further.

For the first time since 1995’s landmark Demanufacture album, the band sound fired up and inventive, with a concept album warning what happens when technology is allowed to enslave mankind. More than that, it sees the band taking their trademark features and giving them a fresh, modern edge.

Some of Dino Cazares’s guitar riffs are brutally industrial, yet also have a charismatic, concussive groove. And vocalist Burton C Bell combines growling grimace with a melodic charm that echoes mournfully with biting despair.

The songs are charged with thoughtful depth and they’re anthems of throbbing greyness. It’s hard not to get swept along by the dark claustrophobia of New Messiah, God Eater or Depraved Mind Murder.

The best Fear Factory album for nearly two decades.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.