Fear Factory – Soul of a New Machine (1992)

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Formed in 1989 and released their “official” debut, this “Soul of a New Machine”, in 1992, Fear Factory merged the brutality of grindcore and death metal with industrial and electronic sounds setting a brand new standard of intensity in music.
Released 19 years ago, on 25 August 1992, “Soul of a New Machine” was one of the milestones of a new era, one of the few groundbreaking products of the industrial metal era. Burton C. Bell, Dino Cazares and Raymond Herrera with producer Colin Richardson bring to the surface an extremely intense and powerful album with a particular structure and sound, a concept which remains the trademark of the band and inspired many others since.
I bought this one on cassette tape in the beginning of the 90s and listen it till it get demagnetized.

Formed in Los Angeles, California in 1989 by guitarist Dino Cazares and drummer Raymond Herrera, while Cazares played also the bass guitar on all of the band’s recordings till Christian Olde Wolbers was included as band member in 1998. Cazares also discovered and bring to the band vocalist Burton C. Bell of Hate Face – upon overhearing him singing New Year’s Day by U2 in the shower at a common boarding.
They started out under the name Ulceration, but they subsequently shifted to Fear Factory. With reminiscent of the early works of Napalm Death and also Godflesh, Fear Factory merged technical, complex and brutal death metal and grindcore butcheries with early industrial metal, industrial music influences delivering extreme and experimental metal while Burton C. Bell’s pioneering fusion of extreme death growls and clean vocals in the same song, which was to become a significant and influential element of the band’s sound throughout their career.
In 1991, Fear Factory proceeded to record a series of cuts to comprise their debut album with the then relatively unknown producer, Ross Robinson in Blackie Lawless’ studio. The band didn’t agree with the terms of the record deal and finally ditched Ross Robinson after the recordings of 16 tracks.
Robinson used this recordings to promote himself, which would eventually lead him to producing Korn, which would make him the most sought-out nu metal producer of the 1990s.
When they were taken to court, Robinson won the rights to the album, and the band won the rights to songs. The recording itself was eventually given an official release through Roadrunner Records in 2002 under the title “Concrete”. Based on thisrecording, Max Cavalera recommended them to the then death metal focused Roadrunner Records label, who proceeded to offer them a recording contract.
The band re-recorded eight of the tracks from this album for their official 1992 debut, “Soul of a New Machine”: “Big God/Raped Souls”, “Arise Above Oppression”, “Concrete” “Crisis”, “Self Immolation” “Escape Confusion”, “Suffer Age” and “Dragged Down by the Weight of Existence” which was rerecorded on Soul of a New Machine as “W.O.E.” (Weight of Existence).

Track list:

01.”Martyr”
02.”Leechmaster”
03.”Scapegoat”
04.”Crisis”
05.”Crash Test”
06.”Flesh Hold”
07.”Lifeblind”
08.”Scumgrief”
09.”Natividad”
10.”Big God/Raped Souls”
11.”Arise Above Oppression”
12.”Self Immolation”
13.”Suffer Age”
14.”W.O.E.”
15.”Desecrate”
16.”Escape Confusion”
17.”Manipulation”

Length: 51:07

Guitarist Dino Cazares has stated that “Soul of a New Machine” is a concept album, concerning man’s creation of a machine that could be either technological or governmental.
Colin Richardson, the producer of the album contributed considerably in
The album was remastered and re-released on October 5, 2004 in a digipak, packaged together with the remastered Fear Is the Mindkiller EP. This album is their only studio album without a title track.
“Soul of a New Machine” was considered as revolutionary for its pioneering industrial death metal sound, combining Bell’s harsh and melodic vocals, Herrera’s machine-like battery, the integrated industrial samples and textures and the sharp, down tuned rhythmic death metal riffs of Dino Cazares.
Due to the extreme nature of the music, the album was not successful in the mainstream and even today remains more of a cult favorite.

Fear Factory – Official Site 1
Fear Factory – Official Site 2
Fear Factory @ MySpace

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