|Death Metal, Groove Metal, Industrial
AFM Records, Candlelight Records
February 5th, 2010
Release length: 44:54
The title track of Mechanize is simply breath taking, but in the sense of that is crushes you to the point where you can’t breath. However, this punishing track doesn’t really set the tone of the album, though it’s far from the heaviest track available. What comes next is a combination of various elements that have made Fear Factory a household name. Many of the tracks come at you in a blistering assault that blends furious music throughout with a more melodic chorus that is sung, the main thing that put the band on the map. But when you hit “Christploitation”, things seem to change up a bit and we go right back to furious and angry Fear Factory that would make any of their recent discography quiver in fear.
Everything on here goes great until you hit the track “Designing the Enemy”. While this track isn’t that bad at all, it just feels so out of place and tame compared to the rest of the album. The track is slower, has simpler Meshuggah-esque guitar riffs and drum kicks to it, and severely watered down focusing more on singing then anything else until a little more then half way through, when the whole thing comes into perspective a bit thanks to the distorted gutteral vocals, then back to the clean singing. It acts as a nice intermission if you want to consider it that way, but it does disrupt the flow of the album and will have you itching to strike the skip track button. It’s clear that this track was added to prepare you for the closing track “Final Exit”, as “Designing the Enemy” and the isntrumental track “Metallic Division” make for a more powerful closing to the release, but even if you look at that song as a form of interpretation to the album as a whole, it’s still not that great a track. Had it been left out and let it end with “Metallic Division” and “Final Exit” instead, it would have been perfect, since the entire album rips your face off, but then gives you a feeling of hope and closure at the end.
The Deluxe Edition of Mechanize comes in a nice digipack, and comes complete with four bonus tracks. The first of the four is a newly recorded track entitled “Crash Test” which is very diverse from the rest of album, beaing a very heavy and intense song that relies more on the band’s older Death Metal roots then anything of the more established Groove Metal sound. This makes for a very furious track that fans of the original sound will like, but the track doesn’t have much of a lasting appeal here, and seems to be one of those songs that would gain a bigger response live if used to really get the crowd pumped during the performance. Aside that, you also have the band’s entire second 1991 demo tape recording placed on here as a bonus. It’s great to hear some of the classic songs from earlier Fear Factory as they originally were when they were first recorded, before the record deal and access to better production equipment. These tracks are clearly a plus and worth the few extra dollars to obtain.
Mechanize, with the exception of “Designing the Enemy”, is hands down one of the best Fear Factory releases in nearly fifteen years. The album is just a non stop thrill ride from start to bottom, and ends on such a powerful high note that actually resolves this album, giving you closure, which is something that many albums seem to lack anymore. This is one album that will be lodged in your player, and that you’ll probably wear out from repeat listens before you even attempt to touch another release. If you’re going to be any new release for this year, make sure you pick up Mechanize.
01. Mechanize – 4:41
02. Industrial Discipline – 3:38
03. Fear Campaign – 4:54
04. Powershifter – 3:50
05. Christploitation – 4:59
06. Oxidizer – 3:45
07. Controlled Demolition – 4:25
08. Designing the Enemy – 4:55
09. Metallic Division (Instrumental) – 1:30
10. Final Exit – 8:17
|Initial Pressing Score: 9/10
Deluxe Edition Score: 9.5/10