Fear Factory

Obsolete (Roadrunner)
Enslain Magazine Issue #5
Order Issue #5!  This review included.
1000% redemption of the release of REmanufacture (which, for the record, wasn't an LP anyway, but was still disappointing), Obsolete is possibly the best CD Fear Factory have released to date. Though less heavy than their former releases, it has the melody missing from Demanufacture, and the energy missing from Soul Of A New Machine. It can be said that they have become more mainstream, but it would be more correct to say that they have matured and have recorded an excellent release with all the elements their last was missing. Burton uses his clean vocals much more often on this CD, which is one of the things that made me fall in love with this band from the very beginning. The bass and keys are more predominant than ever before, and the drums are as fast as ever. The guitarwork is original, crunchy riffs, still no solos.
Obsolete is a theme album, continuing with the "Fear Factory" theme of anti-technology, and anti-"the system," but centering on a 21st century world where man is programmed in thoughts and actions and has become "Obsolete." A story is written throughout the CD, in addition to the lyrics that exemplify them.
Every song has it's own unique sound. "Edgecrusher" has a very bass-oriented sound, sure to be a favorite of Korn/Coal Chamber fans, as well as people with expensive systems in their cars. "Descent" is very melodic and catchy, with clean vocals throughout. My two favorites, "Resurrection" and "Timelessness," include 11-piece chamber strings. "Timelessness" is the equivalent of "Demanufacture's" "Therapy For Pain," consisting only of vocals and the string section. A beautiful song with touching lyrics and an incredible display of talent from Burton's voice. "Resurrection" is by far the best song on the album, and a collection of everyone's talent. Once again, excellently delivered vocals, mixed with a dynamic musical sound of soft to aggressive, lows to highs.
To those people who only think "Me barbarian, heavy = good, heavier = gooder," I recommend you let this CD open your mind, and prove that heavier doesn't always mean better. To those of you with open minds, you will love this CD! -- Lady Enslain