Album Review: Fear Factory – Aggression Continuum

Fear Factory

Album Review: Fear Factory - Aggression Continuum
Reviewed by Richard Oliver

Being a Fear Factory fan can be a frustrating and exhausting experience. The past six years have very much proven that with inconsistent live performances, in-band fighting, lawsuits and the resignation of a founding member who is very much essential to the band's sound. All these digressions can distract from the fact that Fear Factory are a band that more often than not deliver brilliant albums and since the return of guitarist Dino Cazares to the band in 2009 have been very much on a roll of brilliant albums that started with 2010’s Mechanize. Despite all the setbacks and obstacles that have held back the release thankfully Aggression Continuum, the tenth full length from the band, very much sees the band carry on that momentum.

Album Review: Fear Factory - Aggression Continuum

Aggression Continuum will very much be seen as a bittersweet album as it contains the final performance from founding member and vocalist Burton C. Bell who quit the band last year after a lengthy lawsuit with Dino Cazares over the rights to the band's name. It’s also bittersweet as Burton (who recorded his vocals back in 2017) puts in a hell of a final performance sounding more pissed off than ever. The music itself is also a sledgehammer of aggression with the classic Fear Factory staccato riffs from Dino mixed with the machine gun drumming from Mike Heller, the pulverising bass work from Tony Campos and those always essential sci-fi sounding keyboards. This is an album born out of conflict and turmoil and has some incredibly aggressive, pounding and driving songs which also retain a semblance of melody and catchiness. Lead single Disrupter is classic Fear Factory whilst Fuel Injected Suicide Machine is one of the finest songs the band have delivered bursting out skull crushing levels of aggression with big melodies and a wholly epic sound to it. Magnificent stuff. Other highlights include the crushing title track, the pummelling Purity, the aggressive industrial of Cognitive Dissonance and the brutal yet alarmingly catchy Manufactured Hope.

Fear Factory as we know may have come to an end but Aggressive Continuum is a fitting swan-song for Burton’s era with the band. With all the delays and setbacks this album has had it is lucky it has been released at all but with extra time to fine-tune and tweak the album, Dino has managed to produce an absolute beast of an album which he should be rightly very proud of. Burton and Dino have been the cornerstones of the Fear Factory sound and with one of them now gone for good the future for Fear Factory is uncertain yet exciting. I very much look forward to see what is in the pipeline for the next chapter of Fear Factory.

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