Fear Factory - Demanufacture
Roadrunner Records
Industrial Metal
11 songs (59:19)
Release year: 1995
Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Shane
Archive review

Fear Factory mixes brutal vocals, crunching guitar riffs and amazing drum work with keyboards and a generous dose of sampling and the result of this mix on the bands 1995 release, Demanufacture, is quite impressive. Demanufacture doesn't try to wow you with high-pitched vocals or blazing guitar solos as this album features absolutely none of that. Instead, the songs are written around the spectacular kick drum work of Raymond Herrera, whose precision machine gun fire drum work drives every song. Honestly, I’d be surprised if his drum work is not redone to some extent with studio magic, because it is totally mind blowing, despite the fact that he rarely touches his cymbals. His drumming is among the tightest and most precise that you will ever hear anywhere. Guitarist Dino Cazares works perfectly in sync with Herrera’s drum work to create seriously heavy, yet still simple riffs that work perfectly with this kind of music. Vocalist Burton C. Bell either barks (sounds great) or attempts to sing, often using plenty of voice effects, and the results are a voice that is, intentionally and effectively, both sombre and depressing (and sometimes slightly off key). Again, this approach works well with the music. The keyboards and audio sampling are tastefully utilised to give the songs on Demanufacture depth, feeling and atmosphere. Bell’s two pronged vocal attack, mixed with the mood and atmosphere created by the keyboards, give the songs a surprising amount of variety, especially when you consider how the elements that make up Fear Factory (and the Industrial Metal sound in general) are not often conducive to creating music that is eclectic and unpredictable. This was the problem with Fear factory's first release, Soul of a New Machine, as the music gets real boring after you have heard the first three songs. Despite the presence of some filler on Demanufacture, the album manages to avoid this fate.

The first four songs on this album (Demanufacture, Self Bias Resistor, Zero Signal and Replica) are a solid, if not spectacular demonstration of angst and aggression. The mood in Zero Signal could be compared easily to the mood of your typical Slipknot song, however, Fear Factory manages to capture this mood more convincingly and effectively, as you can be sure that the exploration into these emotions are not just a marketing strategy. Replica is one of the best songs on the album as it deals with what it would be like to be a child born of rape. Suffice to say that this song is filled with anger, pain and aggression, all attributes that lend themselves well to metal. Check out the live version of this song that is on the first Ozzfest cd, it's killer.

On New Breed, the fifth track, the sound effects are a bit much, as there is some high pitched squeal during the chorus that is fairly annoying. Plus, it sounds like Burton is screaming “Food Fight” instead of “New Breed” over and over again. This song, like most on this album, is arranged so that the chorus repeats several times. While this arrangement isn’t a problem for most of the songs on this album, because they feature great choruses, it fails miserably on any song that doesn’t, such as New Breed.

Fear Factory covers the Head of David song Dog Day Sunrise. While I do not know how this cover stacks up to the original, I do know that it fits in well with the rest album, as the song is mellow and it gives the album a much needed break from the usual intensity. The rest of the album is not quite as intense as the first half, and it does contain some filler, however, it also contains two of the best songs on the album. H-K (Hunter-Killer) is my favourite cut from this album. The song opens up with some moody atmosphere effects followed by a voice sample talking about guns and how crazy kids are these days. It is not long until the rapid-fire drums and guitar take over. The lyrics ooze aggression and attitude and the mix of mood and intensity is perfect. The next track, Pisschrist is a winner as well. Fear Factory proves that you don’t have to be Deicide to come up with a good anti-christ song. Once again, the mood mixes perfectly with Burton’s singing voice and screaming voice, especially at the end of song where Burton asks “Where is your saviour now?” The album closes out with A Therapy for Pain, which is different from the other songs on the album as it relies little on the drums and heavy on keyboards to create a truly dark and depressing mood. It has some powerful moments but songs like this are better suited for Type O Negative.

Despite some filler, Demanufacture manages to avoid the falling into pitfall of boringness that plague Fear Factory's other releases as well as the releases of many of their contemporaries. Check it out if you want to hear Industrial Metal done right.

Killing Songs :
Demanufacture, Replica, H-K (Hunter-Killer), Pisschirst
Shane quoted 81 / 100
Jeff quoted 88 / 100
Goat quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Fear Factory that we have reviewed:
Fear Factory - Aggression Continuum reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Fear Factory - Genexus reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
Fear Factory - The Industrialist reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Fear Factory - Mechanize reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Fear Factory - Remanufacture reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
To see all 11 reviews click here
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