There’s something to be said for sticking to one’s core. Years ago, it would have been very easy for Fear Factory to run out and grab some dude with two turntables and perhaps even get someone’s little brother to drag his baggy-pants ass on stage to cut a little rap. But that would have been the least metal thing Fear Factory could have done, and they ain’t no morons.
Metal, for better or worse, has always been about suffering, and we’re talking about the financial and future woes of the folks who devote their lives to it. It’s one of just a few scenes that remain pure to its roots, regardless of the bleak prospects that seem almost inevitable. Yes, Ozzfest has proven that metal is still popular, but it’s rare to find these groups transcend the endless world tour to become fixtures on MTV Cribs.
But don’t cry for Fear Factory. The tunes that make up its latest effort, Transgression, don’t give an inch, and they aren’t making any apologies. Often abrasive, the incessant chops and guttural wails throttle the listener into an oxygen-deprived euphoria. Perhaps most impressive about Fear Factory’s sound is it has managed to take Testament, Vio-Lence, Slayer and Pantera and bring those sounds to the next logical level, rather than simply rehash what has come before. In fact, the tracks on Transgression appear so tricked out and tight, from a production standpoint, that the disc offers up an almost mechanical vibe. Think in terms of The Terminator meets speed metal.