Fear Factory

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Fear Factory is an American metal band. Formed in 1989, they are well-known for their signature style, which combines death metal, groove metal, thrash metal and industrial metal. They had a large impact on the metal (and "metalium", if you're picky) scene from the mid-90s and onwards, with Machine Head, Chimaira, Devin Townsend, Disturbed and Mnemic all citing them as an influence.

They disbanded in 2002 due to internal disputes, but reformed later that same year without guitarist Dino Cazares, a founding member. They disbanded again in 2006, only to reform again in 2009 with a new lineup, including the returning Dino Cazares and drummer Gene Hoglan.

Not to be confused with Fear Factor, Nightmarish Factory, or the Donkey Kong Country track of the same name.

Current lineup:

  • Burton C. Bell – vocals (1989–present)
  • Dino Cazares – guitar (1989–2002, 2009–present)
  • Gene Hoglan – drums (2009–present)
  • Byron Stroud – bass (2003–present)

Former members:

  • Raymond Herrera – drums (1989–2008)
  • Christian Olde Wolbers – bass (1993–2002), guitar (2002–2008)
  • Dave Gibney – bass, vocals (1989–1991)
  • Andy Romero – bass (1991–1992)
  • Andrew Shives – bass (1992–1993)

Studio albums:

  • Soul of a New Machine (1992)
  • Demanufacture (1995)
  • Obsolete (1998)
  • Digimortal (2001)
  • Concrete (2002) [1]
  • Archetype (2004)
  • Transgression (2005)
  • Mechanize (2010)
  • The Industrialist (2012) (upcoming album)

Fear Factory provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Alternative Metal
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Freedom or Fire - in which the protestor protagonist burns himself to death rather than be taken into custody by the state police.
  • Concept Album - Soul of A New Machine, Demanufacture, Obsolete, and Digimortal all tell a continuous story.
  • Crapsack World - Demanufacture and Obsolete's dystopias.
  • Cyborg - In Digimortal, when the surviving humans and machines realize that they need to depend on, rather than control, one another to survive.
  • Darkest Hour: Descent, Timelessness.
  • Death Metal - Soul of a New Machine and Concrete. There are also trace elements of death metal in the band's other material.
  • Determinator: H-K (Hunter-Killer), Edgecrusher, Smasher/Devourer, Archetype. H-K gets bonus points for not only taking its title from De Terminator, but using samples of Kyle Reese's dialogue.
  • Downer Ending - In Obsolete, when the main character, Edgecrusher, gets captured by the Securitron. It is not certain whether his words/thoughts in the song Timelessness are when he's in jail, or when he is in the process of being executed. And he was the leader of the resistance too, making Edgecrusher's defeat a double-blow.
  • Fan Nickname: Dino Cazares, who's a bit heavy, is widely known on Fear Factory forums as "Self Diet Resistor."
  • Genre Shift - Industrial death metal to industrial groove metal. They also had nu metal influence on Digimortal.
  • Genre Stew - Honestly, try figuring out what kind of metal they really are.
  • GIFT: Addressed in "Cyberwaste."
  • Greatest Hits Album - Released by Roadrunner without the bands permission. It only contains songs up to Digimortal.
  • Grief Song: Well, more of a grief instrumental in the case of Natividad, which is dedicated to guitarist Dino Cazares' mother.
  • Groove Metal
  • Heavy Mithril - Most of the band's lyrics focus on science fiction.
  • Industrial Metal - Fear Factory made several Industrial Metal-influenced albums with former Front Line Assembly member Rhys Fulber as their producer.
  • Metal Scream: Types 1, 2 and 4. Type 2 mostly only occurred on Soul of a New Machine and virtually all subsequent works saw Burton moving between Type 1 and 4.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness - Soul of a New Machine is 9/10; most of their other material is 8, occasionally bordering on 9.
    • Some songs drop it as low as 6 or 7 (Descent, Resurrection and Cars). They are in the minority.
  • Murder Ballad: Suffer Age was written by Dino Cazares about John Wayne Gacy. 0-0 (Where Evil Dwells), written about The Acid King Ricky Kasso, too.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Demanufacture, Replica, Self Bias Resistor, to name a couple.
  • Piss-Take Rap / Rap Metal - "Back the Fuck Up" from Digimortal. It sure wasn't expected. Half of the band also contributed to Cypress Hill's Skull & Bones.
  • Protest Song: Whilst all of Fear Factory's material is basically anti-authoritarian, Crash Test (animal testing), Hi-tech Hate (arms industry), Corporate Cloning (music/fashion industry), Securitron (Police State 2000) (go on, guess) are all more specific in their targets.
  • Religion Rant Song: Big God/Raped Souls, (("Liar! Big God, no God, BURN!")) and Desecrate from Soul of a New Machine with Act of God on Archetype give examples of Type 1. Demanufacture's Pisschrist is more of a Type 2.
  • Remaster: Soul of a New Machine was remastered and re-released in a 2005 digipak that combined it with the also remastered E.P Fear Is The Mindkiller.
  • Sampling - Hard to notice, but most of their earlier songs contained random samples, whether they were quotes or sound effects. Some of the sounds they sampled were from Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, and the Demolition Man arcade game.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Burton manages to do this one, all on his own.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: the concept albums worlds are left deliberately undated, and fit fairly neatly into the not-too-distant future trope.
  • What Could Have Been - A music video for "Edgecrusher" was planned with visual effects provided by Wipeout creators Psygnosis (now known as SCE). Some footage was shot but it was never finished due to the band's touring schedule.
  1. This album was originally intended to be their debut back in 1991, but rights issues between the band and producer prevented Concrete's release until 2002.