Burton C. Bell

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Burton C. Bell
Bell performing with Fear Factory in 2013
Bell performing with Fear Factory in 2013
Background information
Born (1969-02-19) February 19, 1969 (age 52)
Houston, Texas, U.S.[1]
  • Vocals
  • guitars
  • bass
  • keyboards
  • sampler
Years active1988–present
Associated acts

Burton Christopher Bell (born February 19, 1969) is an American musician and vocalist. He is best known as the co-founder and former frontman of the metal band Fear Factory.[2] His singing style mixes clean and shouted vocals with death growls.


Fear Factory[edit]

Prior to his role in Fear Factory, Bell was in the band Hateface. In 1989, after Hateface disbanded, his housemate Dino Cazares invited him to meet a drummer (Raymond Herrera) to possibly work with. On October 31, 1990, Bell, Cazares, Herrera and Romero jammed for the first time in a studio in South Los Angeles. The group recorded four studio albums before Fear Factory disbanded temporarily in 2002. The band reformed in 2004 with Christian Olde Wolbers switching from bass to guitar and Byron Stroud on bass. This line-up recorded two albums. During the following period of inactivity within the band, Cazares and Bell patched up their differences, and in 2009 decided to have Fear Factory return to form.

Bell is the only member to have appeared on every Fear Factory release from their first demo in 1991 to their tenth studio album Aggression Continuum (2021).

In 2012, Bell and Cazares received the Revolver Golden Gods Icon award.[3]

After 31 years as the singer of Fear Factory, Bell announced on September 28, 2020 that he had left the band, citing "consistent series of dishonest representations and unfounded accusations from past and present band members" and a bitter feud between himself and Cazares. However, his vocals appear on their tenth studio album Aggression Continuum, which had been completed in 2017 but not released until 2021.[4]

On June 16 2021, Bell performed the Fear Factory song "Replica" with a group of Australian musicians in Sydney. This happened after he'd done a DJ set at a local venue.[5]

Ascension of the Watchers[edit]

After Fear Factory's hiatus in 2002, Bell went on to form Ascension of the Watchers with John Bechdel at Bechdel's studio in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania. The Watchers released an online-only EP titled Iconoclast in 2005. On February 19, 2008, Ascension of the Watchers released their first full-length album Numinosum through Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen's record label 13th Planet.

In February 2017, Bell rebooted Ascension of the Watchers and began recording at Northstone Studios, South Wales, collaborating with Welsh solo artist Jayce Lewis.[6] With Bell regarding Lewis as a Musical Soulmate, the pair recorded a new album titled Apocrypha and released it via Dissonance Productions.[7]

Guest appearances[edit]

Bell performing

Bell has performed guest vocals on many records in addition to taking lead vocal duties for G/Z/R's Plastic Planet album released in 1995.[8] Due to commitments with Fear Factory, Bell was not the vocalist for G/Z/R's second album, Black Science.

Bell, alongside fellow bandmate, Dino Cazares, appeared on the Soulfly song "Eye for an Eye" in 1998. Bell featured as guest vocalist on the Apartment 26 song "Void", a bonus track from their debut album Hallucinating in 2000.

Bell recorded a track for UK metal band This Is Menace; the track was then cut out of the final edit from the album No End in Sight. Bell performed live in the encore segments of the Ministry 2008 Tour, singing songs such as "Stigmata", "Thieves" and "So What", taking over vocal duties from Al Jourgensen.

Bell joined with Byron Stroud to form City of Fire who released their debut album in August 2009.

Bell featured on Delain's 2012 album We Are the Others, providing vocals for the track "Where Is the Blood".[9]

Bell was featured on Chris Vrenna's project Tweaker on the song "I Am the One", intended to appear on the album The Attraction to All Things Uncertain. When Vrenna reedited the album, Bell's song was cut only to be included in a DVD instead.

Bell provided backing vocals on the 20th anniversary re-recording of Pitchshifter's "Un-United Kingdom".[10]

Personal life[edit]

Bell is married and has three children.[11]


All appearances are as a vocalist, unless mentioned otherwise.

Band Release date Title
Fear Factory 1992 Soul of a New Machine
Fear Factory 1995 Demanufacture
Clay People 1995 The Iron Icon
G/Z/R 1995 Plastic Planet
Fear Factory 1998 Obsolete
Spineshank – guest 1998 Strictly Diesel
Kilgore – guest 1998 A Search for Reason
Soulfly – guest 1998 Soulfly
Static X – guest 2000 The Crow: Salvation
Apartment 26 - guest 2000 Hallucinating
Fear Factory 2001 Digimortal
Fear Factory 2004 Archetype
Fear Factory 2005 Transgression
Ascension of the Watchers 2005 Iconoclast (EP)
Soil – guest 2006 True Self
Ministry – guest 2007 The Last Sucker
Ministry – guest 2007 Cover Up
Ascension of the Watchers 2008 Numinosum
M.A.N – guest 2008 Peacenemy
City of Fire 2010 City of Fire
Fear Factory 2010 Mechanize
Delain – guest 2012 We Are the Others
Fear Factory 2012 The Industrialist
City of Fire 2013 Trial Through Fire
Fear Factory 2015 Genexus
Ministry – guest 2018 AmeriKKKant
Conflict – guest 2019 Decision Code
Combichrist – guest 2019 One Fire
Pitchshifter– guest 2020 Un-United Kingdom 20th Anniversary Brexit Edition
Revillusion – guest 2020 Heart (Less): Revisions & Additions
Ascension of the Watchers 2020 Apocrypha
Fear Factory 2021 Aggression Continuum
Ascension of the Watchers 2021 Translations


  1. ^ "FEAR FACTORY: BURTON C. BELL, DINO CAZARES (Fear Factory)". Rock Hard (in German). February 20, 2002. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "Biography: Fear Factory". Allmusic. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved July 1, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "BURTON C. BELL Officially Quits FEAR FACTORY: 'I Cannot Align Myself With Someone Whom I Do Not Trust Nor Respect'". Blabbermouth.net. September 28, 2020. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  5. ^ "Watch Ex-FEAR FACTORY Frontman BURTON C. BELL Sing 'Replica' With Australian Musicians". Blabbermouth.net. June 22, 2021. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  6. ^ "Burton C. Bell & Jayce Lewis Video Interview – Ascension of the Watchers – Burton C. Bell".
  7. ^ "Exclusive: Burton C. Bell Interview". October 20, 2020.
  8. ^ Jeffries, Vincent. "Biography: GZR". Allmusic. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  9. ^ "Discography". Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  10. ^ "Pitchshifter To Release 20th Anniversary Edition Of "Un-United Kingdom"". The PRP. January 1, 2020. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  11. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/CJgkihzpHLp/