FEAR FACTORY – The Industrialist

“Fan service” might be the best way to describe The Industrialist.  It’s not often that a record is released and there isn’t much of anything to complain about.  With The Industrialist, FEAR FACTORY deliver everything fans love about FEAR FACTORY.  The machine gun riffing/drumming, the futuristic atmospheres, the mix of distorted and clean vocals, and the attacking aggression are all beautifully executed.

In comparison to its predecessor Mechanize, The Industrialist is a bit more singular in its attacking focus.  Perhaps there is a tad less variety in the riffing and song variety departments.  Don’t expect too much in the way of change or progression as FEAR FACTORY basically do what they do best here.  Thankfully, that doesn’t significantly subtract from the value of the record.

Fans may be disappointed to know that vocalist Burton C. Bell and guitarist/bassist Dino Cazares have opted to use a drum machine for the record.  Drum god Gene Hoglan is as busy as usual with his many other bands.  However, FEAR FACTORY‘s style, by default, is perfectly suited for a drum machine.  Thus, everything sounds the way it should.

Simply put, The Industrialist is solid.  The songs are catchy and full of energy and aggression.  Good shit.  (Candlelight Records)

ABYSMAL DAWN/BEREFT’s Charles Elliott and OBSCURA’s Steffen Kummerer Announced as Vocalists on Death to All Tour

ABYSMAL DAWN/BEREFT‘s Charles Elliott and OBSCURA‘s Steffen Kummerer have been announced as vocalists of DEATH tribute, Death to All Tour. The tour’s band will consist of ex-DEATH members including Gene Hoglan, Steve DiGiorgio, Bobby Koelble, Sean Reinert and Paul Masvidal.

Tour dates:
6/22/2012 – The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
6/23/2012 – House of Blues – Los Angeles, CA
6/26/2012 – House of Blues – Chicago, IL
6/28/2012 – Irving Plaza – NYC, NY
6/30/2012 – The Beacham – Orlando, FL

FEAR FACTORY Setting Out for More U.S. Dates via Fear Campaign Tour

FEAR FACTORY will return to the stage in a few days as part of their ongoing Fear Campaign Tour. The short string of U.S. dates will kick off in Tempe, Arizona on December 29 and conclude nine days later in San Diego, California on January 8.

Tour dates:
12/29/2010 The Club House – Tempe, AZ
12/30/2010 Club 101 – El Paso, TX
12/31/2010 The Rail Club – Fort Worth, TX
01/01/2011 The Marquee Theater – Tulsa, OK
01/02/2011 Club Khaos – Amarillo, TX
01/04/2011 Gators – Farmington, NM
01/05/2011 Sunshine Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
01/06/2011 DV8 – Tucson, AZ
01/07/2011 Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
01/08/2011 Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA

Pulverised Signs Thrash Supergroup MEMORAIN

Pulverised Records is proud to announce the addition of MEMORAIN to their growing roster of brutality. The thrash metal supergroup, founded by guitarist Ilias Papadakis, formed in 1999 and currently features: Gene Hoglan (FEAR FACTORY), Steve Digiorgio (SADUS), Ralph Santolla (OBITUARY) and Chris Valagao (ZIMMERS HOLE). Guest musicians on previous offerings have included Nick Menza (ex-MEGADETH) and James Murphy.

The band recently completed work on the fourth full-length, Evolution. Further details and artwork to be revealed soon.

Commented Papadakis of the signing: “I’m really happy with the way things are going! Pulverised Records is the new home of MEMORAIN and I’m sure that with their experience they will do an amazing job with our new album! On Evolution, we have succeeded to combine oldschool thrash metal, with a modern touch. Fast and aggressive, but at the same time, melodic with powerful. I’m sure that Evolution will satisfy the appetite of the diehard fans of thrash metal! I can’t wait to perform this material live!”

http://www.myspace.com/memorain

FEAR FACTORY – Mechanize

So after all the well-publicized drama in the FEAR FACTORY camp, we finally have the new album by the Burton C. Bell/Dino Cazares/Gene Hoglan/Byron Stroud line-up. The band sounds recharged, reinvigorated and determined to regain the level of critical acclaim and influence that helped propel them to the top of the metal scene in the mid-90’s. It’s safe to say that this is band’s best album since Demanufacture and Obsolete.

The return of guitarist/co-founder Dino Cazares is absolutely crucial as he has brought his best new riffs to Mechanize. Time has been kind to Cazares as his trademark attacking rhythms are more sophisticated now. Drumgod Gene Hoglan lays down an excellent performance and brings more than his fast feet to the recording. It’s nice to hear FEAR FACTORY with plenty of drum fills, blast beats, and other hand work.

For most of Mechanize, the band focus on creating brutal, catchy songs with their famous hammering rhythms. There is plenty of aggression and vitality that is sure to please any headbanger. Album closer, “Final Exit,” is the crown jewel of Mechanize. It works as a great contrast to the rest of the album in not just the fact that it shows the less heavy, more melodic side of the band but it also shows a more humanistic side. With all the mechanical pounding and slamming of the preceding tracks, the tranquility and resolution of “Final Exit” is a great way to end the record.

While Mechanize does not match their landmark Demanufacture, it’s still a fine album that ranks right underneath the latter in the band’s catalogue. Signs of life are abound and the new era of FEAR FACTORY is sure to put the band back at the top of the metal scene. (Candlelight Records)

FEAR FACTORY’s Mechanized Confirmed for February 9, 2010 U.S. Release Date

Candlelight Records today confirms February 9, 2010 as the American release date for Mechanize, the seventh studio album from FEAR FACTORY. Mechanize features the highly reported reconciliation of vocalist Burton C. Bell with original guitarist Dino Cazares along with bassist Byron Stroud and drummer Gene Hoglan. The anticipated album also welcomes back keyboardist/producer Rhys Fulber (FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY).

Mechanize is a full-fisted blast of passion and innovation that sounds like the missing link between 1995’s groundbreaking Demanufacture and 1998’s more texturally nuanced Obsolete. Songs like “Industrial Discipline” and “Powershifter” are crushing and colossal, melding fast and precise rhythms with vocals that pinwheel from raw and scathing to hauntingly melodic while “Fear Campaign,” which features harrowing spoken word passages, quickly segues into a showcase of punishing beats, rapid-fire riffs and ghostly keyboards. For the first time in years, the band’s industrial roots glimmer through its street-lethal metal, thanks in part to Fulber, who worked on FEAR FACTORY‘s popular industrial remix albums Fear is the Mindkiller and Remanufacture.

“I didn’t want any of the soundscapes to sound natural,” says Bell. “I wanted them to be really mechanical because I wanted that aspect of FEAR FACTORY to really shine again. I feel it kind of got dulled over and that’s the aspect that I really enjoyed a lot about FEAR FACTORY. I was a huge fan of industrial music and still am. And you don’t hear much of that anymore these days.”

As work began on the album in early April, Bell, who resides in Pennsylvania, admitted he initially expected the years apart would leave him feeling awkward or uncomfortable. However, when Cazares picked him up at the airport his apprehensions melted. “After being with him a couple hours and talking to him everything was cool,” Bell says. Three months later the duo had a fresh batch of new songs written and more importantly a renewed confidence in their union.

“Our creative juices were really flowing the whole time,” says Cazares about the entire creative process. “All of a sudden we’d look at the clock and go, ‘Holy shit, it’s already 2:30 or 3:00 am.’ We just lost track of time because we were all bouncing ideas off each other really productively. We were adding touches right up until the final second to make the record as fresh as it could be.”

“This is definitely a different chapter for us and I think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done,” Cazares adds. “Obviously, Burton and I have grown up and we’ve pretty much perfected what we do. More importantly, we’ve discovered why we so were good together in the first place. Our combination just works. All the ingredients and the elements that we had in the past, combined with what we’ve learned since being apart feels like putting on a new glove that still feels as good as an old glove.”

Ex-STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, EXODUS, FORBIDDEN Members Join Forces in TENET

Ex-EXODUS vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza and lead guitarist Glen Alvelais (FORBIDDEN/ex-TESTAMENT) has joined forces with ex-STRAPPING YOUNG LAD members Jed Simon, Byron Stroud and Gene Hoglan in a project known as TENET. The debut album, Sovereign, is set for an Aug. 25th release. While it took a rather long while to launch this entity, TENET are nowset to mercilessly explode onto the global metal scene with a high quality, furious thrashing old school metal album. Be sure to visit www.myspace.com/tenetforce for all news updates.

Guitarist and TENET mastermind Jed Simon comments as follows: “After years of work, setbacks, more work and more setbacks…I am so happy that this ‘storm in my mind’ has finally come to fruition. So, TENET has now become a band. It is no longer ‘I’. It has evolved, grown up and become more than I ever thought it would be. Without the help of Zetro, Gene, Glen and Byron, this very well could still be residing in the furthest corner of my brain…this album is very personal for me and the anger that has driven it is unlike anything I’ve ever felt. This album is the shedding of a skin that I had been carrying around far too long.”

MELDRUM Completes Recording Of New Album in Honor of Michelle Meldrum

MELDRUM‘s drummer, Gene Hoglan, announced the completion of recording their new album, entitled Lifer, consisting of ten tracks for 2009 release.

The new album stands as a proud tribute to founder, Michelle Meldrum, who passed away earlier this year. The album contains material written by both MELDRUM and Hoglan, with new member’s bassist Laura Christine and vocalist Michele Madden.

Lifer is sonically different in direction than anything previously released by the band. With new life, and new talent, this album has carried the talents these four have to a higher level.

“Let me say this: Never have I obsessed over the recording of any album I’ve been involved in as I have with MELDRUM‘s latest,” explains Hoglan. “The tragic circumstances that took Michelle from us, also provided us with a laser-sharp focus to record the most amazing album we could. Michele Madden, Laura Christine, and hell, even Chicken, our engineer, put forth performances of a lifetime, with each member’s full love and respect going into every nuance of every song. Not only to honor Michelle, but to also lay down some badass music, which was ultimately what she stood for…what MELDRUM stands for. I think the songs speak for themselves, and I, for one, have never been prouder to be a part of a family, let alone a project such as this. Metal with balls. Crank it up, indeed.”

MELDRUM plans to unveil previews from their studio sessions on their Myspace in coming weeks, with news on the new release, music videos and tours forthcoming.

For more information go to www.meldrum.nu or www.myspace.com/meldrumrocks.

TESTAMENT – Demonic (reissue)

It’s hard to believe that TESTAMENT‘s Demonic is over a decade old, but after a short spell of being out of print, the crew at Prosthetic has wisely chosen to keep the album alive and available for the masses. Originally planned as a death metal side project called “DOG FACED GODS” based on a track from the band’s previous album Low, Demonic was nonetheless released under the TESTAMENT name, assembled by mainmen Chuck Billy and Eric Petersen following the departure of much of the band’s lineup from Low. “Demonic Refusal” kicks things off with an atom bomb of heaviness with Chuck‘s deep growling delivery offering a new menace to his vocals. It unleashes a band light years away from the safer, more melodic textures found on The Ritual. After a strong opening, the band keeps the momentum rolling with the driving punch of “The Burning Times” and “Together as One” driven by Eric Petersen‘s extra crunchy riffs complimented nicely by guest drummer Gene Hoglan‘s hammering beats. “John Doe” on the other hand, sees the band shift comfortably in to a half-time shuffle, grooving like no tomorrow while still maintaining its thunderous delivery. This continues throughout the album well in to the final closing track, “Nostrovia.” Overall, Demonic can be seen as somewhat of an oddity in the TESTAMENT catalog, with little of the melody and hooks found on earlier classics such as The New Order and Practice What You Preach. On the other hand, Demonic was TESTAMENT‘s heaviest, bludgeoning record to date, trading off melody for sheer force. It replaced shredding guitar solos with thick, heavy grooves creating a more rhythm based album. Over ten years later, Demonic still remains an audio force and holds up considerably well against most of what today’s metal has to offer. The folks at Prosthetic must have realized this as only the album cover was changed (inexplicably the original with nails driven into the skull is harsher than the new cover), and there are no bonus tracks or enhancements. As such, fans who own the original will have little reason to purchase this reissue, but for those who missed out the first time, now is the time to pick up this must own disc. (Prosthetic Records)

DETHKLOK – The Dethalbum

The Dethalbum features songs by the animated five-piece “extreme metal” band, DETHKLOK, from the Metalocalypse animated series, a show that’s really about the comedy of this abrasive genre of music we know and love. While DETHKLOK is supposed to be the biggest, heaviest, most brutal band on the planet, their music doesn’t quite convey that. There aren’t blast-beats, tempos are about OBITUARY “fast,” and some of the riffs/leads are a little too easy on the ears (think ARCH ENEMY). But that’s if you’re a seasoned metal bastard. Fans of the show who may not be quite familiar with the real “dark side” of metal, will find The Dethalbum to be delightfully dark and destructive. Songs are still true to extreme metal form. Guitars are downtuned, drum god Gene Hoglan (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, ex-DEATH) pounds heavily, leads are flashy and tastefully executed by show creator, Brandon Small, (who sings and plays all instruments, except drums)…and the lyrics even revolve around the familiar theme of death (surprise, surprise)! Those familiar with the show will recall “Murmaider” from the Dethwater episode, “Awaken” from the Dethtroll episode, and “Birthday Dethday” from the Happy Dethday episode, (amongst others) from the show. Despite some impressive guitar noodling by Small, DETHKLOK‘s musical and lyrical intelligence hover quite low, which aid in capturing the sometimes ridiculousness of extreme metal. The Dethalbum is an enjoyable album that is a necessary companion piece for fans of Metalocalypse (especially the deluxe edition which comes with the “Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle” from the show’s pilot). Others, however, will be lost on the stupidly, humorous innuendo. (Williams Street)