||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: editorialization, original research, gossip, superfluous quotes, and unencyclopedic tone. (March 2014)|
Fear Factory performing at the DNA Lounge in 2013
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Genres||Industrial metal, groove metal, thrash metal, alternative metal, death metal|
|Years active||1990–2002, 2003–2006, 2009–present|
|Labels||Roadrunner, Liquid 8, Calvin, Candlelight|
|Associated acts||Brujeria, Asesino, Ascension of the Watchers, Arkaea, Zimmers Hole, Metallica, Strapping Young Lad, Divine Heresy, Threat Signal, Phobia, City of Fire, Chimaira, Six Feet Under, System Divide|
|Members||Burton C. Bell
|Past members||Andrew Shives
Christian Olde Wolbers
Fear Factory is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1990. Over the course of their career, the band has released eight full-length albums, and have evolved from a succession of styles, frequenting industrial metal with flavors of death metal, groove metal, and thrash metal. Fear Factory proved to be enormously influential on the metal scene in the mid- to late-1990s. Fear Factory disbanded in March 2002 following some internal disputes, but reformed later that year without founding member Dino Cazares, adding bassist Byron Stroud, and casting then-bassist Christian Olde Wolbers as guitarist.
In April 2009, a new lineup was announced with Cazares returning as lead and rhythm guitarist and Gene Hoglan as drummer. Bell and Stroud reprised their respective roles, and the band completed a seventh studio album entitled Mechanize. Former members Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera (both playing in Arkaea) disputed the legitimacy of the new lineup, and a legal battle is underway from both parties. Fear Factory released their eighth studio album, The Industrialist, in June 2012. Over the years, Fear Factory has seen changes in its members, with Burton C. Bell being the only consistent member since 1989.
The band has performed at three Ozzfests as well as the inaugural Gigantour and has had singles in the US Mainstream Rock Top 40 and albums in the Billboard Top 40, 100, and 200. The band has sold more than 1 million albums in the US alone.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early years (1989–1990)
- 1.2 Concrete (1991)
- 1.3 Soul of a New Machine (1992–1994)
- 1.4 Demanufacture (1995–1997)
- 1.5 Obsolete (1998–2000)
- 1.6 Digimortal and demise (2001–2002)
- 1.7 First return and Archetype (2002–2004)
- 1.8 Transgression (2005–2006)
- 1.9 Hiatus and other projects (2006–2008)
- 1.10 Second return and Mechanize (2009–2011)
- 1.11 The Industrialist (2011–2013)
- 1.12 Next album
- 2 Legacy and influence
- 3 Band members
- 4 Discography
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early years (1989–1990)
Fear Factory were founded in 1989 under the name Ulceration, which the band agreed would "just be a cool name". In 1990, the name "Fear Factory" was adopted to reflect their burgeoning new death metal sound, influenced by early British industrial metal, industrial music and grindcore yet remain firmly rooted in a conservative extreme metal approach; a facet of their music that resulted in the band’s wider music audience appeal.
Its roots lie deep in an outfit formed by guitarist Dino Cazares (formerly of The Douche Lords) and drummer Raymond Herrera in Los Angeles, California. Their first line-up was completed with the addition of vocalist Burton C. Bell (ex-Hate Face), allegedly recruited by an impressed Cazares upon overhearing him singing New Year's Day by U2 in the shower at a common boardinghouse. Cazares played bass on the first two Fear Factory albums Concrete, Soul of a New Machine and about 60% on Demanufacture, the latter because Cazares changed much of the riffs during the recording. It took Dino two weeks to get the appropriate guitar tone, and with only one day and a half for Christian to record the bass, Dino and Colin Richardson decided that with Dino playing most of the bass would expedite the recording of the album.
The earliest demo recordings of the band are strongly reminiscent of the early works of Napalm Death and also Godflesh, an acknowledged influence of the band, in the grindcore driven approach of the former and the mechanical brutality, bleakness and vocal stylings of the latter. The demos are remarkable for integrating these influences into their death metal sound and for Burton C. Bell’s pioneering fusion of extreme death growls and clean vocals in the same song, which was to become a significant and influential element of the band’s sound throughout their career. The use of grunts and "throat singing" combined with clean vocals has later defined the nu metal and other emerging genres of metal. Many vocalists, in today's metal scene, use two or more methods of singing and vocalizing lyrics. The band contributed two songs to the L.A. Death Metal Compilation in 1990. They played their first show on Wednesday, October 31, 1990.
In 1991, Fear Factory recorded a series of cuts for their debut album with the then relatively unknown producer, Ross Robinson in Blackie Lawless’ studio but, the band being unhappy with the terms of their recording contract caused a delay with the released of the album. Nevertheless, the band retained the rights to the songs and many of which they re-recorded in 1992 with a different producer, Colin Richardson, for inclusion on their actual debut release Soul of a New Machine. Meanwhile, Ross Robinson obtained the rights to the recording, which he used to promote himself as a producer and finding enormous success during the nu metal explosion of the mid-late 1990s when he worked with bands such as Korn, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot; ironically, they were bands that had little in common with the 1991 "Fear Factory". The album in 2002 was officially released by Roadrunner Records under the title Concrete during the band’s dissolution. The release was controversial because the album was issued due to an outstanding band contractual obligation and without the approval of every member of band.
Fan opinion has been divided as to whether the Ross Robinson production properly captured the then intricacies of the band’s sound. The released album favored a straight-up approach and Robinson’s distinct drum sound. Yet, the “secret” album has become an important album for fans of the early Fear Factory sound, can be seen as a bridge between the band’s sound on their demo recordings and their debut release, Soul of a New Machine, and a blueprint for later songs and b-sides.
Based on the Concrete recording, Max Cavalera recommended them to the then death metal focused Roadrunner Records label, who proceeded to offer them a recording contract. While the band signed the contract at the time, it has since become the source of some controversy based on Roadrunner’s treatment of the band during the events surrounding their interim break up in 2002. This was reflected in the first album Archetype (2004) that was released following the band's reformation. The opening song with lyrics by Burton C. Bell, “Slave Labor”, did not mince words about the band’s feelings on the matter. After working with numerous bassists, Andrew Shives was hired as a live bassist prior to the release of Archetype.
Soul of a New Machine (1992–1994)
Soul of a New Machine (1992) was recorded with producer Colin Richardson, gave the band greater exposure in the music scene and was seen as revolutionary for its pioneering industrial death metal sound that combined Bell’s harsh and melodic vocals, Herrera’s machine-like battery, the integrated industrial samples and textures and the sharp, down tuned rhythmic death metal riffs of Dino Cazares. Cazares and Herrera wrote all the music, and being without a bass player, Dino played both guitar and bass on the recording.
The album, due to the extreme nature of the music, never reached the level of popularity attained by their later, more accessible works, and remains more of a cult favourite. Soul of a New Machine is strictly seen by many as Fear Factory’s final effort firmly in the death metal camp since the band’s style progressively shifted further away from the death metal sound with each album release.
The band embarked on extensive US tours to promote the album with Biohazard, Sepultura, and Sick Of It All; sampler/keyboardist Reynor Diego joined the group. A Europe album tour followed with Brutal Truth, then Cannibal Corpse, Cathedral, and Sleep. The following year, they hired Front Line Assembly member Rhys Fulber to remix some songs from the album, demonstrating the band’s willingness to experiment with their music even at this early stage. The results took on a predominantly industrial guise, and were released as the Fear Is the Mindkiller EP (1993); Soul of a New Machine and Fear is the Mindkiller were released (2004) as a package in a new re-mastered reissue by Roadrunner Records.
In 1993, Andrew Shives was forced to leave the band. In November of the same year, the band met in Los Angeles a vacationing Christian Olde Wolbers originally from Belgium, through Evan Seinfeld of Biohazard. Wolbers was recruited as their permanent bassist. Although Christian joined the band immediately, the tight studio deadlines and Cazares’ regular tweaking of the guitar parts on the next album, made it difficult for him to all the bass parts of the album's songs so Cazares recording the bass for part of the album.
Fear Factory's second album Demanufacture (1995), is generally considered to be the band’s defining work and featured, in comparison to the overly brutal approach favored in the early recordings, a more industrial metal sound characterized by a mix of rapid fire thrash metal/industrial metal guitar riffs and tight, pulse driven drum beats, roaring (rather than growled, but still aggressive) vocals that made way for melodic singing and powerful bass lines.
The production was also more refined and the integration of atmospheric keyboard parts and industrial textures upon Cazares’ and Herrera’s precise musicianship made the songs sound clinical, cold and machine-like and gave the band’s music a futuristic feel. Many fans consider Rhys Fulber’s involvement with the band integral to this dimension of their sound. There were extensive contributions from Reynor Diego as well; adding key samples, loops and electronic flourishes to the group dynamics.
Demanufacture received much critical acclaim being awarded the maximum five K's rating in the UK’s Kerrang! rock magazine. It went on to become a fairly successful album; Soul of a New Machine failed to chart anywhere, Demanufacture made the Top 10 of the Billboard Heatseekers charts and a video was produced for the song "Replica"; the video was featured in the Test Drive 5 video game for the PlayStation. The song "Zero Signal" was featured on the Mortal Kombat film soundtrack (1995). Instrumental versions of Demanufacture songs were later used in PC videogames: Carmageddon and Messiah.
Fear Factory spent the next few years touring with such bands such as Black Sabbath, Megadeth and Iron Maiden and appearing at the 1996 and 1997 Ozzfests, among other music festivals. In May 1997, the band released a new album composed of Demanufacture remixes by artists such as DJ Dano or Junkie XL (now known as JXL) called Remanufacture - Cloning Technology, which marked the band’s first appearance on the Billboard 200 and also appeared on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Roadrunner Records re-released, in a 10th Anniversary single package, Demanufacture and Remanufacture in 2005, similar to that of Soul of a New Machine (2004). This edition also includes bonus tracks from the digipak version of Demanufacture (1995).
Obsolete was similar in sound to Demanufacture, and introduced the progressive metal and alternative metal elements and for the first time, featured Christian Olde Wolbers recording with the band in his full capacity as a band member. It also featured Dino Cazares debut use of 7-string guitars tuned to A tuning (A,D,G,C,F,A,D), and paved the way for a lower-tuned sound than previously. The album is also notable for Rhys Fulber’s increased involvement with the band.
While Fear Factory had explored the theme of “Man versus Machine” in their earlier work, Obsolete was their first actual concept album that dealt specifically with a literal interpretation of this subject, telling a story called Conception 5 written by Bell that takes place in a future world where mankind is rendered "obsolete" by the Machines, and features characters such as the “Edgecrusher”, “Smasher/Devourer” and the “Securitron” monitoring system. The story is presented in the lyrics booklet in a screenplay format in between the individual songs, with the printed story parts linking the lyrics of the songs together thematically.
Bell explained the concept in an interview as follows:
The concept of this record is that man is obsolete. The idea is still man versus machine – man versus the system machine... man versus the government machine. Demanufacture told a story, Remanufacture was another chapter in the story and Obsolete is another part of the Fear Factory concept. We're up to the point in the story where man is obsolete. Man has created these machines to make his life easier but in the long run it made him obsolete. The machines he created are now destroying him. Man is not the primary citizen on Earth.
— Burton C. Bell
Coincidentally released in the alternative metal boom of the late 1990s, Obsolete, supported by tours with Slayer and later, Rammstein, along with a headlining spot on the second stage at Ozzfest in 1999 (as last-minute replacements for Judas Priest), went on to become the band’s highest selling album, marking the band’s first entry into the Top 100 on the Billboard charts. The album also spawned singles in "Descent" and in the digipak bonus track, "Cars", a cover of the famous Gary Numan song (featuring a guest appearance by Numan himself, on the song, as well as in its music video), that made the Mainstream Rock Top 40 in 1999 and was also featured in the video game, Test Drive 6. Incidentally, Numan also performs a spoken word sample on the album’s title track. A video was also filmed for the song, "Resurrection". To date, Obsolete remains the only Fear Factory album to have achieved gold sales in the US.
Digimortal and demise (2001–2002)
In early 2001, Fear Factory was asked to headline SnoCore Rock. The success of Obsolete and "Cars" was to be a turning point for the band, with Roadrunner Records now keen on capitalizing on the band’s sales potential and pressuring the band to record more accessible material for their follow-up album, titled Digimortal, which was released in 2001.
While Digimortal remained consistent with the band’s lyrical evolution, with Bell now singing about Man and Machine having become merged and unable to be separated without immense harm being caused, musically, the shift to simpler, more radio friendly song structures lost the band some of its more extreme metal fans and the album is considered by some to be inferior to their earlier releases. Fan opinion, however, remains strongly divided between those who view the album as a colossal failure, those who associate it with the nu metal movement and others who contend that the sound is still the same Fear Factory at its core and praise the merits afforded by the Rhys Fulber production.
Digimortal made the Top 40 on the Billboard album charts, the Top 20 in Canada and the Top 10 of the Australian album charts. "Linchpin" off the album again reached the Mainstream Rock Top 40.
A remix of the song "Invisible Wounds" was included on the Resident Evil film soundtrack, and an instrumental digipak bonus track called "Full Metal Contact" was originally written for the video game, Demolition Racer.
A VHS/DVD release called Digital Connectivity was released soon after, in January 2002, which documents each of the four album periods of the band via interviews, live clips, music videos and tour/studio footage.
Although Digimortal had a successful start, the sales did not reach anywhere near the levels of Obsolete and the band received little tour support. The direction of the album coupled with strong personal differences between some of the band members created a rift that escalated with time, to the point where Bell announced his exit in March 2002. The band disbanded immediately thereafter with its publicists citing not poor album sales but "largely because vocalist Burton C. Bell is tired of playing angry, aggressive music and wants to form a band that's more indie-rock-oriented." In a final collaboration, the group recorded two songs for the video game The Terminator: Dawn of Fate that same month. Fear Factory’s contractual obligations remained unfulfilled, however, and Roadrunner did not release them without controversially issuing the Concrete album (originally from 1991) in 2002 and the B-sides and rarities compilation, Hatefiles in 2003.
During his time away from Fear Factory, Bell started his side project along with John Bechdel, called Ascension of the Watchers, who released their first EP, Iconoclast, independently via their online store in 2005.
First return and Archetype (2002–2004)
Over time, it emerged that the tensions within the band were largely between the guitarist Dino Cazares and the other members, particularly Bell. When asked about the breakup in May 2002, Cazares proceeded to make claims and allegations against Bell and the other members stating that Fear Factory could continue without Christian and that Raymond Herrera and Christian Olde Wolbers were primarily motivated by money. Herrera made a response to these allegations on behalf of the other band members stating that Cazares was motivated by money and emphasising Wolbers' influence on the band's sound. According to Herrera, the other members of the group would often come up with new ideas that they wanted to incorporate into Fear Factory's sound, only to have their suggestions dismissed or openly ridiculed, in the process causing a rift between Cazares and Bell that ultimately led to the band's breakup.
Olde Wolbers and Herrera got back together later in 2002 and laid the foundations for what was to become the return of Fear Factory. With Cazares now permanently out of the line up, Bell was approached with their demo recordings and was impressed enough to rejoin the band and Fear Factory was formed once again. Christian switched to guitar and Byron Stroud of Strapping Young Lad was approached to join the band as their new bassist, and was their bass player from 2003, up until 2012.
Dino Cazares continued recording and performing with his side project called Asesino, a Mexican deathgrind band featuring Tony Campos of Static-X on vocals. In 2007, he also started a new group called Divine Heresy, featuring Tim Yeung, formerly of Hate Eternal and Vital Remains, on drums.
Fear Factory made their live return as the mystery band at the Australian Big Day Out festival in January 2004, followed by their first American shows since reforming, on the spring Jägermeister tour along with Slipknot and Chimaira. The new lineup's first album Archetype was released on April 20, 2004 through new record label Liquid 8 Records based in Minnesota.
Archetype saw Fear Factory returning to an alternative and partially industrial metal sound and is generally considered to be a strong 'return-to-form' record, if not a particularly innovative effort, with most of the trademark elements of the band firmly in place.
When you look up the definition of the word, Archetype, it's the actual model from which everything else is copied. Fear Factory is that in my opinion, and Archetype is a defining moment for us. Listen to this record, and you'll know exactly where all these other bands came from.
— Burton C. Bell
Videos were shot for the songs "Cyberwaste", "Archetype" and "Bite the Hand That Bleeds", with the latter featuring on the Saw film soundtrack. Further tours with Lamb of God and Mastodon in the US and with Mnemic in Europe put the band back on the worldwide metal map. The new Fear Factory has largely abandoned the direct "Man versus Machine" theme prevalent on earlier releases in favor of subjects such as religion, war and corporatism.
To the surprise of many fans, Fear Factory soon revealed plans to subsequently record and release their next full-length album over a very short period of time with mainstream rock producer Toby Wright (normally known to work with bands such as Korn and Alice in Chains). This was allegedly due to pressure from their new label, Calvin Records, who pulled back the album’s due date from four months away to just a month and a half, in order that the band would have a completed new album to support on the inaugural Gigantour, which they had been invited to participate on by Dave Mustaine.
The resultant album, Transgression, was released barely a year after Archetype on August 22, 2005 in the United Kingdom, and on the following day in North America to highly polarized reviews, with some critics hailing the album as a diverse and progressive effort and other reviewers not receiving the record very well. Although the album starts off as a Fear Factory record, subsequent songs include mellow/alt-rock numbers in "Echo of My Scream" (featuring Faith No More’s Billy Gould on bass) and "New Promise", a pop-rock song in "Supernova" and a faithful cover of U2’s poppy, "I Will Follow".
In 2013 Christian Olde Wolbers via his facebook page revealed more details regarding writing and recording of Transgression and Archetype, and expressed disappointment with the finished product, calling it only half-finished, and has blamed the label for the severe time constraints imposed during the recording sessions and for the inclusion of the U2 cover. However, Burton C. Bell has maintained that he is proud of the album and sees it as the band "stepping over boundaries". Over 2005–2006, Fear Factory went on to promote the album on their successful "Fifteen Years of Fear" world tour in celebration of their fifteenth anniversary, inviting bands such as Darkane, Strapping Young Lad and Soilwork to join them on the US jaunt and Misery Index to join them on the European jaunt. Late 2005 saw Fear Factory tour the US once again on the "Machines at War" tour, with an all star death metal line-up of special guests in Suffocation, Hypocrisy and Decapitated, playing certain old classics from Soul of a New Machine such as "Crash Test" which they had not performed live in many years.
Hiatus and other projects (2006–2008)
An online statement from Wolbers in December 2006 indicated that the band was to head back into the studio to record a new album, produced by the band, immediately after the completion of the Transgression touring cycle. That same month, Burton C. Bell confirmed in an interview that the band would part ways with Liquid 8 Records. Yet rather than begin work on a new studio album, the band members briefly went their separate ways, and began working with other projects.
Bell contributed vocals to the songs "End Of Days, Pt.1", "End of Days, Pt. 2", and "Die In A Crash" on Ministry's 2007 album The Last Sucker, and later toured with the band in support of the album. Bell referred to this as a "dream come true" in an interview, describing Ministry front man Al Jourgensen as "one of [his] heroes." In that same interview, Bell talked at length about his new band Ascension of the Watchers, providing insight into the inspiration behind the project's formation.
On March 21, 2008, while FF was on hiatus, Burton C. Bell via video interview spoke about the future of Fear Factory, stating that he no longer wanted to contribute to the violence and aggression he saw in the world with the aggressive type of music Fear Factory produced.
Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera went on to start their own new band, called Arkaea, with vocalist Jon Howard and bassist Pat Kavanagh of Threat Signal. In describing the band, Wolbers stated that "Ironically, half of the Arkaea album consists of songs that were intended to be the next Fear Factory record." Arkaea released their debut album Years in the Darkness on July 14, 2009.
Second return and Mechanize (2009–2011)
On April 8, 2009, Burton C. Bell and ex-guitarist Dino Cazares announced the reconciliation of their friendship, and the formation of a new project with Byron Stroud on bass and drummer Gene Hoglan (Death, Strapping Young Lad, Dark Angel, Dethklok). On April 28, this project was revealed to be a new version of Fear Factory, excluding Herrera and Wolbers. When asked about their exclusion, Bell stated that "[Fear Factory is] like a business and I'm just reorganizing... We won't talk about [their exclusion]".
In June 2009, Wolbers and Herrera spoke about the issue on the radio program "Speed Freaks." Herrera claimed he and Wolbers were still in the band. "[Christian and I] are actually still in Fear Factory...[Burton and Dino] decided to start a new band, and furthermore, they decided to call it Fear Factory. They never communicated with us about it", said Herrera. Herrera added that the original four members (Bell, Cazares, Wolbers, and himself) were contractually regarded as Fear Factory Incorporated, and said "it's almost like them two against us two, so it's kind of a statemate." The drummer also stated that he and Wolbers had written eight songs for the next Fear Factory record, but that a "personal disagreement" had come up between them and Bell, which left Bell not wanting to continue work with the band.
Bell and Cazares later spoke about the issue, revealing their reasons for excluding Herrera and Wolbers. Cazares stated that Bell wanted to reunite the classic Fear Factory line-up of himself, Cazares, Herrera, and Wolbers, but that Herrera and Wolbers refused to be a part of any reunion with Cazares. Bell also stated that another factor was that he wanted to fire the band's manager, Christy Priske, who was also the wife of Wolbers, and Herrera and Wolbers refused. Herrera and Wolbers threatened to sign a new record deal without Bell, prompting him to form a new version of Fear Factory without them. However Wolbers stated in a few interviews that Bell had a "growing unacceptable demands" which was declined "Ray and I wanted what was best for the business and what he [Burton] was trying to change wasn't really good for the business. It was only bad for the business, so that's why he went into that whole phase of hijacking the name and trying to run with it." 
Fear Factory featuring Bell and Cazares was set to make its live debut on June 21 in the Metalway Festival in Zaragoza, Spain. However, the show was canceled "at the last minute", apparently due to the legal complications referenced by Herrera. The rest of that lineup's planned performances over Summer 2009, which included a tour of United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand in August 2009, had also been canceled. The group claims they canceled the tour in order to finish writing and recording the next Fear Factory album. Despite the canceled performances in Europe, shows around December were performed in South American countries including Argentina, Chile and Brazil.
On June 23, 2009, during an interview, Dino Cazares stated he could never have a working relationship with Raymond and Christian again, claiming that they were too money-driven and criticised the music they recorded on Archetype for being too similar to the band's earlier output. Despite ongoing issues between the two parties, the new Fear Factory moved ahead with the recording process. In late July 2009, a short video shot with a cell phone showed Cazares recording over drum tracks with longtime contributor Rhys Fulber. On November 6, 2009, blabbermouth.net revealed that Mechanize would be released on February 9, 2010, on Candlelight Records. On November 8, 2009, Fear Factory released a track titled "Powershifter" on YouTube. On November 10, 2009, Bell revealed the track list for the Mechanize album, along with an explanation of each song.
In January 2010, Fear Factory played in Australian and New Zealand tour on the Big Day Out tour playing their first Australian dates since 2005 on January 17 at Parklands Showgrounds on Queensland's Gold Coast. Fear Factory released Mechanize on February 5, 2010, and began their US tour, dubbed "Fear Campaign Tour 2010", in late March. In August 2010 they headlined the Brutal Assault open air festival in Czech Republic.
In September 2010, Fear Factory toured Australia, New Zealand, and Tokyo, Japan as the opening act for Metallica. The New Zealand concerts were in Christchurch, two shows that were brought about by a petition sent to Metallica, asking them to visit the second biggest city in New Zealand. After the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, the South Island concerts were in doubt; however, on September 15, 2010, an official announced was made that the CBS Arena escaped harm, and both shows went ahead.
The Industrialist (2011–2013)
In an interview during the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise, Bell revealed that Fear Factory was planning to write and record a "full-on concept" album, which was due for release in 2012. He explained, "We're gonna kind of take a break a little bit, but we're definitely going into the studio at some point and start writing. We wanna take our time doing it. Personally... Mechanize, don't get me wrong, is a good record — I'm very proud of it — but it's gotta be better than that. I've got plans where I'd like to do a full-on concept again — story, artwork. Just make it real cerebral. But there'll definitely be another Fear Factory record, maybe in 2012."
On August 3, 2011, guitarist Dino Cazares announced on his Twitter that he was working and demoing new material for the next Fear Factory album. On January 25, 2012, the band announced that the new album will be titled The Industrialist. The album was once again co-produced by the band with Rhys Fulber while the mixing duties were handled by Greg Reely.
Byron Stroud left FF early in 2012, commenting that "Life's too short to spend it with people who don't respect you."  In one interview Dino Cazares said he didn't know why Stroud decided to leave, and commented that he could not play the bass parts on Mechanize, prompting Cazares to do it himself.
In February 2012, Stroud was replaced by former Chimaira guitar player Matt DeVries. On April 19, 2012, Mike Heller of Malignancy and System Divide was announced as the band's new drummer, replacing Gene Hoglan. At the same time, Dino Cazares confirmed via his Facebook page that the drums on The Industrialist were programmed by Cazares with the help of John Sankey of Devolved.
The Industrialist was described by Burton to be another concept album "sonically, conceptually, and lyrically". Dino also remarked that he and Burton were the two in control of the record's outcome, and that the songwriting on the album was much more "definitive" in regards to Fear Factory's platform sound.
On May 2, 2013 Dino Cazares commented regarding the status of FF albums which were recorded without his participation [Archetype and Transgression] and the band's decision not to play songs from them live, remarking that "they don't count" as FF albums. Contradicting this, Fear Factory played the track Archetype on their 2013 Australian tour in early July. One notable change to the song is the slight editing of existing lyrics to "The infections have been removed...".
On August 2, 2013, ex-drummer Gene Hoglan revealed more details regarding his departure from FF, saying that he was prevented from participating on the album, and only found out about its completion online.
On May 1, 2013, guitarist Dino Cazares told Songfacts.com that Fear Factory would begin work on a new album after they finish touring in support of The Industrialist. It was expected to be released in early 2014.
On May 13, 2013, singer Burton C. Bell told Metal-Rules.com, "Fear Factory will continue to tour North America and Europe 2013. We've got some more tours scheduled, some summer festivals next year. During that time our plan is to start writing a new record and we would like to have a new record out by spring 2014".
Legacy and influence
Fear Factory’s innovative approach towards, and hybridization of the genres of industrial metal, death metal and alternative metal has had a lasting impact on metal music ever since the release of their first album in 1992. Fear Factory is noteworthy among contemporaries for their lyrical focus on science fiction, with much of their music telling a single story spanning several concept albums. The band has often been called a "stepping stone" leading mainstream listeners to venture into less-known/more extreme bands, and are consistently appreciated.
In the liner notes of the Soul of a New Machine re-release, Machine Head vocalist Robert Flynn, Chimaira vocalist Mark Hunter and Spineshank guitarist Mike Sarkisyan have cited Fear Factory as an influence. Robert Flynn stated his vocal style was influenced by Burton Bell's vocals and that Machine Head have been wrongly credited for the vocal style. Mark Hunter stated that Chimaira's drumming was heavily influenced by Raymond Herrera. Other bands that have Fear Factory in their liner notes include Slipknot, Static-X & Coal Chamber.
Modern bands such as Mnemic, Scarve, Stiff Valentine, Sybreed, Threat Signal, and contain significant influences of the band’s technique and have also credited a substantial debt of gratitude to the band. Peter Tägtgren of Hypocrisy has said that “Fear Factory are close to our hearts” and that “Soul of a New Machine was the influence for me to start my other project, 'Pain'”. Devin Townsend of Strapping Young Lad stated his main influences for Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing were Fear Factory and Napalm Death. In an interview on That Metal Show, Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward stated that Fear Factory is one of the bands he wishes he could play with.
- Burton C. Bell – vocals (1989–present)
- Dino Cazares – guitars, backing vocals (1989–2002, 2009–present)
- Matt DeVries – bass, backing vocals (2012–present)
- Mike Heller – drums (2012–present)
- Dave Gibney – bass (1989–1991)
- Andy Romero – bass (1991–1992)
- Andrew Shives – bass (1992–1993)
- Raymond Herrera – drums, percussion (1989–2008)
- Christian Olde Wolbers – bass (1993–2002), guitars (2002–2008), backing vocals
- Byron Stroud – bass, backing vocals (2003–2012)
- Gene Hoglan – drums (2009–2012)
- Session musicians
- Reynor Diego – samples, keyboards on Demanufacture (1991–1995)
- Rhys Fulber – samples and keyboards on Demanufacture, Obsolete, Digimortal, Archetype and Mechanize (1993–2004, 2009–present)
- John Sankey - drum programming on The Industrialist (2012)
- Live personnel
- John Bechdel – keyboards, synthesizers and sampling (1998–2004)
- Steve Tushar – keyboards, samples (1996–1997, 2004–2005)
- John Morgan - keyboards, samples (1997)
- Andrew Shives - bass guitar (1991-1992)
- Soul of a New Machine (1992)
- Demanufacture (1995)
- Obsolete (1998)
- Digimortal (2001)
- Archetype (2004)
- Transgression (2005)
- Mechanize (2010)
- The Industrialist (2012)
- TBA (2014)
- www.ugo.com "Despite the setback of their shoddy first album, Fear Factory tightened its sound and as traditional death metal structures began to fade, they evolved into a popular industrial metal band while also incorporating a groove metal style. However, their sound has become so unique it seems to elude and genre, and arguments continue over the label that should be placed on them. This has also gotten them heard in the mainstream, and many say Fear Factory is a 'stepping stone' for mainstream listeners to venture deeper into the underground."
- www.drownedinsound.com "LA's Fear Factory were once named Ulceration. They originally formed in 1990, but when the new decade dawned, it probably occurred to them that Fear Factory was a much better name for a combination of thrash metal, death metal, groove metal, industrial metal, metal metal and probably some other metals."
- edmontonmusic.com "'Ulceration' was not picked for any real reason other than that Burton C. Bell and/or other members thought it would 'just be a cool name' for the band. They then renamed to Fear Factory. Characterized by a mix of thrash metal/groove metal guitar riffs..."
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- [dead link]
- "'New' FEAR FACTORY Lineup Cancels Debut Gig; Entire German Tour Called Off". BlabberMouth.
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- [dead link]
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- Official website
- Official Twitter
- Official Facebook
- Interview with Matt Deveries talking about joining the band