FEAR FACTORY – Archetype

For a while, FEAR FACTORY was manufactoring major drama instead of heavy metal fear, thanks to some in-fighting between members of the band resulting in a temporarily split. But the band ultimately perservered through trying times having left co-founder/guitarist Dino Cazares behind. Now slightly revamped, FEAR FACTORY have found a reinvigored anger that has spawned their fifth official full-length album, Archetype. Staying true to their patented industrial-meets-metal sound, Archetype flexes its formulaic muscles, closely reaching Demanufacture levels. Mechanical grooves and Burton C. Bell‘s uniquely monotonous yet infection “clean” singing pumps hard and heavy. But unfortunately, much of what we hear is…much of what we’ve already heard. In other words, sticking to their guns might not have been their best move. FEAR FACTORY don’t offer any hints of development, and the songs suffer from a lack of developed ideas. Perhaps they should have spent a few more months refining the songs. While some tracks are packaged with tasty riffs (“Cyberwaste“) and fragrant hooks (“Corporate Cloning“), they are ultimately tripped up by poor flow. Others are just minutes too long (“Act of God,” “Drones“). Whether or not the loss of Cazares had anything to do with the album’s underdeveloped songs, let’s just hope Archetype is just a small bump in the road for this band that helped shape the sound of modern-day metal. (Liquid 8)

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