Fear Factory have ultimately redeemed themselves with the release of Archetype. At first it sounds familiar, akin to past albums… Then after a few listens it forms into a beast all it’s own. The depth therein is captivating. At the same time, it’s a friggin’ metal album, something you can blast while you’re cleaning the house, working out or driving on the highway. Burton’s vocals are devoid of Digimortal-era cheese, and this time his range is much more akin to the sounds of Demanufacture/Obsolete. Bell’s lyrics have suddenly taken a turn for the better, compared to Digimortal(and Obsolete for that matter) these are some of his best. Songs like “Undercurrent”, “Human Shields” and “Bite The Hand That Bleeds” showcase his vastly improving clean vocals. These clean vocals actually produce “hooks” and memorable parts of songs. Something only previously heard(and well done) on “Obsolete”.After 10 or 12 spins I found myself analyzing what makes this such a great CD. First off, Christian Olde-Wolbers pulls off a helluva groove on the guitar. And I know it’s not fair to say, but he pulls of this jackhammer-assed groove more adequately than Dino Cazares ever did. The proof is in the riffs. He shreds.Of course, credit is due to the Herrera. He’s not only the main songwriter, but his drumming is what makes Fear Factory. I can’t really compliment Byron Stroud… I don’t enjoy Strapping Young Lad and I’m not clear as to wether he actually played on the disc. And much unlike past albums there are virtually no breaks where the bass really sticks out.Stand out tracks: “Human Shields”, “Cyberwaste”, “Undercurrent”, “School”, “Slave Labor”, “Bite The Hand That Bleeds”… There is a reason this is currently the best-selling metal album on the billboard charts. Hurry up and buy it, and see ‘em on the Jager-tour soon.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Some people say that Dino was too important a member to let go. But think about it. If he would have stayed, we would have probably gotten an album even worse than Digimortal. Dino was changing the band into his own ideas, and that’s why Burt and him didn’t get along. Personally, I’m glad he left because FF has gone back to their true sound, in my opinion. Christian’s a skilled guitarist and does very well filling in for Dino. Byron does a great job handling the bass. (he didn’t play in the record, but you should see him playing live with the band. You’ll know what I mean) The lyrics, like most of you may have noticed, have changed a bit. But, like most have mentioned, they still keep the well-known FF concept of man aganist the machine. Raymond still kicks ass on drums, Burt’s vocals are as great as ever. If you’re an old or new FF fan, you should get this. Even if you don’t know them, if you’re a metal fan, you should totally get this anyway.
P.S. Anyone who dares say that Archetype is better than Demanufacture, needs to get their freakin’ head checked. Listen to them both again, carefully, and you’ll see I’m right. Demanufacture’s just pure genius, and I don’t know about anyone else, but in my opinion, it is their BEST. m/
Wow! Thank God Fear Factory came back together. I can hear Digimortal’s high tech sounds, the awesome keyboard tracks, the brutality of Soul of a New Machine, Obsolete’s heaviness, and the overall flow of Demanufacture when I listen to this album. Cyberwaste is killer! One of my favorites, along with every other one; “Archetype” is the only not so great song here, but it grows on you. You can listen to this album all the way through, you don’t have to skip any songs here. Also, Raymond’s drumming is incredible, he’s so fast and keeps great rhythym. His best yet! I like Fear Factory’s work on the more softer style songs here. Mainly because they don’t resort to stupid “floaty” guitar effects used mainly for ambience and get you lost in a swirl of crap, (that junk on the radio). FF may be soft in a few areas, but they stay hard and still keep that original raw guitar sound throughout (Bite The Hand That Bleeds You). I love Christian’s Guitar sound better than Dino’s. Christain’s has less low end (compared to Dino) and is so much easier to hear and makes Fear Factory seem like they have definitely progressed into the future. His guitar has got good low end, low mids, and heavy upper-mid attacks goin on paired with tons of treble. Dino had that “scooped” sound with very little, if any, midrange, paired with tons of low end and tons of treble. After reading some reviews, I have to say people expect too much out of musicians. So what if there are no guitar solos, that the guitar lines are made up of a few chords, that the bassist may not play complex stuff, WHO THE **** CARES! Ask yourself this question: DOES THE ALBUM SOUND GOOD? ARCHETYPE SOUNDS AWESOME! So people, judge a band on how much you enjoy listening to their music and not how much “technique” they put into it. Part of writing music is too make it fun and sound good. ARCHETYPE sounds good and is fun to listen to.
Following the disappointing sales of 2001’s “Digimortal”, Fear Factory surprisingly disbanded. Or maybe it’s not surprising considering the band had become more mainstream aimed with “Digimortal” and “Obsolete” which managed to go gold during the rise of nu-metal in the late 90’s. Anyway, “Archetype” is a return to form for the industrial/thrash group, and is undoubtadly their best album since “Demanufacture”. Guitarist Dino Cazeres has departed, allowing bassit Christian to switch over to guitar, and boy does he do a great job here. Burton C. Bell’s vocals sound better than they have in years, and Raymond Herrera’s drumming must be heard to be believed. Opening track “Slave Labor” is classic FF, while other songs like “Act of God”, “Drones”, and the title track (which some may perceive as a slap to the face of Dino) are great headbangers. “Human Shields” finds Bell’s voice reaching never before heard heights, and is better than anything found on “Digimortal”. All in all, “Archetype” is a return to form for Fear Factory, and they couldn’t have come back at a better time.
Following the release of 2001’s experimental “Digimortal,” Fear Factory briefly disbanded. Three years later, Fear Factory reunited, without original guitarist Dino, switched bassist Christian to guitar and hired Byron to take care of the bass duties. Then they started work on “Archetype,” a hard-hitting record and a great listen. It is a return to form of sorts for Fear Factory, and many fans believe it to be the band at the top of their game. It’s definitely their heaviest album in years, but the signature Fear Factory melody remains in tact, as well (although that melody doesn’t come in until track four).
The drummer (Raymond Herrera) and guitarist both play very well, tight, and inspired. Christian does a good job filling in for Dino, but Raymond is the real highlight here. He drives every songs’ tempos, and he goes absolutely crazy back there on the drums. Every song is full of “boom-boom” beats, chugging beats, lightning fast double bass punches, and/or all over the place machine gun drumming.
“Slave Labor” grinds and chugs like a paint can mixer and it never lets up.
“Cyberwaste” is definitely a personal favorite. It grooves before exploding into a mosh worthy chorus, and there are heavy breakdowns throuhgout. Raymond drives the blindingly fast beat with a death metal blast and Christian lays down some blindingly fast, smoking guitar riffs. This is Fear Factory in their angriest mood, and I guarantee you’ll want to jump around with this one.
“Archetype” has lyrics which may be a shot at ex-guitarist Dino (“The infection has been removed/the soul of this machine has improved”.) It has a “boom-boom” beat, but it is also the first song to have melodic singing. A good, heavy breakdown, too.
“Bite the Hand that Bleeds” has melodic verses and big, hard choruses (with more melodic singing).
“Human Shields” has haunting and spacey riffs at the beginning and in the verses. The choruses are still hard (though not as hard as “Cyberwaste”), but singer Burton Bell doesn’t yell. Only singing on this one.
“School” is an interesting, metallic version of Nirvana’s original. It has heavy breakdowns, great work by the drummer and guitarist, and the vocals alternate from yelling to singing.
It’s a great listen, and I would’ve given it five stars, but ultimately, it’s a little too familiar sounding. The album, as a whole, sounds like Fear Factory circa 7-10 years ago. The melodic moments are from “Obsolete” and the heaviness (and double bass drumming) echoes “Demanufacture.”
As evidenced by albums like “Obsolete” and “Digimortal,” Fear Factory HAVE evolved. But with this album, instead of evolving a step further, Fear Factory simply conquer already conquered land. “Archetype” may simply be a return to form for the band, therefore making it a step in the right direction after an experimental and somewhat disappointing album like “Digimortal.” Hopefully the next album rocks just as hard and is as equally as melodic as this album (because that is what Fear Factory do best), but hopefully the next album will also be something more new (sound like a completely new album, instead of just two previous albums mixed together.)
If you are a hardcore FF fan and own all of their albums, you’ll need to get “Archetype”, as well. If you’re a casual fan, you probably already own “Obsolete,” so I reccomend you try other albums out before this one. However, if you own and absolutely love “Obsolete” and/or “Demanufacture,” and can’t get enough of that sound, you’ll like this album just as well. Finally, if you’re completely new to Fear Factory, I suppose “Archetype” would be a good place to start; but “Obsolete” would suffice just as well.