Explore Fear Factory's Demanufacture, an iconic heavy metal album that defied the perceived decline of the genre in the 1990s. With its unique fusion of melodic and aggressive vocals, death metal and industrial instrumentals, and the exploration of man vs. machine themes, Demanufacture revolutionized heavy metal
Explore Fear Factory's Demanufacture, an iconic heavy metal album that defied the perceived decline of the genre in the 1990s. With its unique fusion of melodic and aggressive vocals, death metal and industrial instrumentals, and the exploration of man vs. machine themes, Demanufacture revolutionized heavy metal.
Despite the prevailing belief that heavy metal was in decline during the 1990s, several bands defied this notion. Pantera released Cowboys from Hell, Machine Head brought forth Burn My Eyes, Sepultura unleashed Chaos AD, and Fear Factory notably delivered Demanufacture. This pivotal album not only marked a turning point in Fear Factory's career but also in heavy metal as a whole. They were among the first bands to merge melodic and aggressive vocals, death metal and industrial instrumentals, and introduce the thematic concept of man vs. machine that would define subsequent Fear Factory albums. Featuring Burton C. Bell on vocals, Dino Cazares on guitars, Christian Olde Wolbers on bass, and Raymond Herrera on drums, this lineup cultivated an unprecedented sound at the time. The influence of Fear Factory extended to bands like Shadows Fall, All That Remains, Killswitch Engage, who followed suit with combining melodic and aggressive vocals, as well as Static X, who further bridged industrial and metal elements.
Produced by Colin Richardson and mixed by Greg Reely, Demanufacture demonstrates unrelenting aggression. The album opens with the title track, where Raymond Herrera's powerful kick drums blast alongside Dino Cazares's intense down-picked guitar work, while Burton C. Bell delivers the iconic opening line, "Desensitized by the values of life." This sets the tone for a tension-driven and brutally captivating musical journey. It's not just the thunderous rhythms, blast beats, distinctive guitar tones, and vocal patterns that define this album. Fear Factory incorporates sound effects reminiscent of the Terminator franchise, effectively driving home the man vs. machine concept, especially in tracks like "Zero Signal" and "Pisschrist." In addition to the expertise of Greg Reely and Colin Richardson, industrial mastermind Rhys Fulber of Front Line Assembly collaborated with the band, seamlessly merging their metal and electronic elements.
Originally intended to be recorded at Trax Studios in Chicago, the renowned hub for industrial greats such as Skinny Puppy and Ministry, Fear Factory ultimately relocated to Bearsville Studio in Upstate New York, where Bon Jovi and Faith No More were also recording at the time. This move expanded their arsenal of gear, borrowing some equipment from Faith No More. However, the most significant addition to Dino Cazares's guitar tone was a loaned guitar cabinet from Dr. Know of Bad Brains. Dino also expressed his fondness for incorporating analog synthesizers on the album, an unconventional tool in the realm of death metal. Reflecting on the experience, Dino stated, "They had this really bad quality that worked well with what we were doing."
The legacy of "Demanufacture" is etched in the memories of countless metalheads. The album's tracks, such as "Zero Signal," featured in the Mortal Kombat movie soundtrack, and "Replica," featured in Testdrive 5, solidified its impact. Fear Factory's innovative hybridization of different musical elements in "Demanufacture" laid the groundwork for concept albums, the fusion of harsh and melodic vocals, and the blend of metal and industrial genres. This unique sound would be further explored in subsequent albums like "Obsolete" and "Digimortal."
"Demanufacture" remains a timeless classic that proves heavy metal cannot be killed, even in an era like the '90s that deemed it dead."