While doing some research for a review for the mag, I came across information on the current FEAR FACTORY lineup. I'm on metal sites every day, and write extensively on the genre for Powerplay, and couldn't believe I'd missed the news of the 'new' Fear Feactory lineup. I am of course talking about the latest incarnation of the band, featuring vocalist Burton C Bell along with original guitarist Dino Cazares and the new rhythm section, namely Byron Stroud (Strapping Young lad, and Fear Factory since Dino's exit) on bass and drum legend Gene Hoglan (Strapping Young Lad, a million other projects) behind the kit.
This came as a bit of a shock, really. Fear Factory are one of my absolute favourite bands (check out my Last.Fm profile for proof of that) and to have Dino return after the well-documented animosity following their breakup after the 'Digimortal' was a surprise to say the least. Granted, the relationship between Dino and Burton goes way back, but the exclusion of Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera seems a bit odd. I'd be interested to know what happened to lead up to this new lineup, especially as technically (I believe) Raymond and Christian remain part of Fear factory in some contractual manner. But above all, I hope the music is back on form.
There's an album on the way from the 'new' lineup, namely 'Mechanized', which I can't wait to hear. Basically what I am hoping for is a genuine new start for the band and not just a touring greatest hits package, y'know? I guess I can understand the desire for a more successful formula after the relative commercial failure of 'Transgression' (which was pretty good) and to a lesser extent the album before that, 'Archetype' (which was fantastic), but I just hope it sounds pure.
Okay. I took a break from writing this for a while and I have now read up on the feud that has been going on between the various members. My curiosity is satisfied, but I feel kind of dirty now. The most important thing everyone that isn't involved with the band should be thinking about is the music that will be made. We know Dino is on top form still (get a load of the Divine Heresy stuff he did), and I hope that some of that fury is being brought over to the 'new' Fear Factory.
This is a band that defined a genre, and for me, defined an era. 'Demanufacture' and 'Obsolete' are amongst the best albums I have ever heard, and I want their legacy to continue with some more great music. What I'd personally like is for their future music to be judged on the material itself and not the circumstances surrounding its creation. We all love a bit of gossip, but it should never eclipse the question- how's the music?
I hope all can be settled between the various musicians, and that the fans are treated to something monumental.