Almost fifty years have passed since brothers Mark and John Gallagher joined forces to form Newcastle metal pioneers Raven. Signing to the now legendary Neat Records in 1980, the band cemented their names in NWOBHM history with its debut album Rock Until You Drop and a succession of other quality records during the eighties including the likes of Wiped Out, All For One and The Pack is Back.
Fear Factory has recruited Havok drummer Pete Webber to play for the band on the current “Rise Of The Machine” U.S. tour with Static-X. Webber is filling in for drummer Mike Heller (Malignancy) who is unable to make the tour due to “scheduling conflicts.” After missing the first date of the tour due to a snowstorm, Fear Factory will debut its new lineupon February 28th at Roseland in Portland, Oregon.
Four years after previous studio outing, Heir To Despair (Candlelight), Japanese avant-garde black metal act Sigh switch record labels once again and return with twelfth full length album Shiki (Peaceville). In their native language, the title translates into many different things such as ceremony, colour and motivation but the main themes present here are “four seasons” and “time to die”. A concept derived from a traditional Japanese poem, frontman Mirai Kawashima takes an existential approach to the seasons, watching cherry blossoms (a symbol of Spring) in full bloom while going through the Autumnal stage of his life with Winter just around the corner.Continue reading →
Former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has just announced The Lucid has dropped a video and booked a tour. The band featuring vocalist Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge), bassist Ellefson, guitaristDrew Fortier, and drummer Mike Heller (Malignancy, Raven, Fear Factory) have released their debut music video for “Deaths of Despair”, a track from their debut self-titled album released October 15 via SpoilerHead Records. Watch “Deaths of Despair” directed by guitarist Drew Fortier here:
It’s been well documented that the road to Aggression Continuum (Nuclear Blast Records), the latest album from Californian cyber-metallers Fear Factory,has been strewn with obstacles, challenges, and all manner of highly publicised internal disputes. Since its recording, the band has endured a lengthy legal battle which concluded with the departure of vocalist Burton C Bell, and saw guitarist, songwriter, and current studio bassist Dino Cazares winning the rights to the Fear Factory name via auction.
As reported by Blabbermouth.net, drummer Mike Heller (Malignancy) has confirmed to New Breed TV that the band’s 2012 album The Industrialist, will be released to digital services in a new version where the drum-machine used on the original recording will be replaced by Heller’s live drums. No word as to whether the current Kickstarter by Fear Factory for their new album Regenerate will also fund this endeavor. Interestingly The Industrialist is the only Fear Factory album not on streaming services. Heller commented:
Thanks to social media posts, some well-placed sources, and a newly published report over at MetalInsider.net, we may finally get new music from Fear Factory in 2020. However, it may not be under the Fear Factory moniker as we know it. Dino Cazares has been posting to social media a lot lately, hinting at a new album while stating, Fear Factory is not coming back. Confused? Us too! MetalSucks reported on the ongoing lawsuit and continuing issues between Dino, Burton C. Bell, and former members/name and IP owners Raymond Herrera and Christian Olde-Wohlbers (Powerflo). You can readabout that here. Dino has been tagging his numerous recent posts with #fearcampaign and monolith. ‘Fear Campaign’ is, of course, a FF song and Monolith is the name vocalist Bell said previously is the definitive title of the new album in a post earlier this year, in a story broken by Ghost Cult. Recently our site interviewed drummer Mike Heller’s band Malignancy and they basically said Mike can’t tour or finish their new album because he is booked solid for Fear Factory in 2020. Hopefully, we get some new music from these guys in some way, shape or form in 2020. Continue reading →
Reviewing a new Fear Factory album in 2015 is like purchasing the Blu-Ray edition of a film you already own on DVD. It’s a good movie and it’s all shiny and high-definition like, but overall there’s no substantial surprises. A new commentary track and special features (or in this analogy, lyrics) are nice perks.
Long story short, there’s not a whole lot of deviation. In that regard Fear Factory’s Genexus (Nuclear Blast) is similar enough to the last review I penned, Kataklysm’s Of Ghosts and Gods. Sure, they’re both new albums, but do you really expect (or want) a dramatic stylistic change from these extreme metal institutions?
All the core Fear Factory components that made 2010s Mechanize and 2012s The Industrialist memorable are back. Vocalist Burton C. Bell and guitarist/bassist Dino Cazares are still playing nice while under the guidance of longtime collaborator and producer Rhys Fulber. Two of the songs feature Blade Runner samples so yeah, the man grappling against artificial intelligence theme is present again. Really, the biggest or only variations to be found here are a return to live drumming (a strong performance from Mike Heller) and the record label.
If you’ve had the pleasure of listening to Demanufacture or Obsolete you’re gonna hit the ground running on this outing. Seriously, like those two landmarks we open with some industrial samples/noises that lead into a jack hammer of a song and 40 minutes or so later the album is bookended by a sweeping and melodic closer (this time in the form of the excellent ‘Expiration Date’).
And that’s a good thing. Very good if you’re into this sort of metallic business. But wait, there’s more. In between the covers you also get slabs of brutal groove like ‘Anodized’ and ‘Soul Hacker.’ It’s all the downtuned 7-string chug coupled with machine-gun fire kick drums your little mechanical heart desires. And despite being in this racket for 25+ years, Bell still can do the bark and croon thing better than most.
Photo Credit: Kevin Estrada
Although if they’re going to keep moving forward with the “cybermetal” sound (or whatever Fear Factory refer to themselves these days) I’d like to see it with the full classic lineup. That means bringing bassist Christian Olde Wolbers and skinsman Raymond Herrera out of exile. They were there for the Demanufacture and Obsolete days, they should be here for the resurgence.