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)

ZIMMERS HOLE Sign Worldwide Deal with Century Media Records

Vancouver’s ZIMMERS HOLE have signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records and will be entering the studio today to begin tracking their third full-length release. This band are no strangers to the underground metal community, as the lineup features Byron Stroud (FEAR FACTORY, SYL) on bass and Jed Simon (TENET, SYL) on guitars, along with Chris “The Heathen” Valagao (vocals) and Steve Wheeler (drums).

Byron and Jed further comment: “Now with ZH signing a fresh, new deal with Century Media, we have decided to give this band our full and undivided attention. No more ‘side-project’ status here; the men of The Hole are fired up like a city on fire and we entered Vancouver’s famed Armoury Studios today to begin tracking the new release.

“We currently have 19 songs on the table for the new album and some tentative song titles include, ‘The Dark Church of Whatever,’ ‘We Rule The Fucking Land,’ ‘Flight Of The Knight Bat‘ and ‘Hair Doesn’t Grow on Steel.’ As you can see, it’s all about having a good time with The Hole. Make no mistake though, we are very serious about our love of metal; it made us who we are, and we wear our influences on our sleeves proudly.

“We are now more focused than ever before and are so excited about the new album. So excited in fact, that the combined length of our erections may just reach out and touch ya!”

Born in 1991, ZIMMERS HOLE (known by many as just “The Hole”) has been Byron and Jed’s significant other band when not busy with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD or FEAR FACTORY. In the beginning, it was always just a way of spending the weekend drinking far too much and writing absurd songs. As time went on, the group “matured” somewhat, although maturity is highly overrated as far as these guys go, but two albums (Bound By Fire and Legion of Flames), a series of successful tours and a string of absolutely unforgettable shows soon followed, putting the mighty ZH on the lips of many.