FEaR FactORY - ObSoLeTe

So how many “most eagerly anticipated albums of the year” do you reckon we’ll have this time then. For me it was probably the System one, But I’m sure this one is as well. So was Slayer’s, and Soulfly and I have no doubt that Korns will fall into the same category. And god know however many more. At least according to the proper press. Problem is, through no fault of the bands own, this media dose of premature ejaculation brings such a heavy burden of expectancy, that whatever arrives is going to be something of a letdown. Unless it’s your most eagerly awaited album. System met my expectations. Obsolete?

It’s good of that there is no doubt. Well played and produced, but part of me was expecting something, er, different. Not techno. Just a bunch more tricks from them, and for the most part it’s not really there. It’s Fear Factory doing what they do best. Fear Factory. Which is as it should be.

The first few songs show that. They are new, but they seem strangely familiar, like old friends. Maybe it’s the structure, maybe the vocals. Dunno. There is some difference in tracks like (track 2 and 4 I think), but it’s still naggingly familiar. You contrast that with Resurrection. It’s different for the band. More melodic. More anthemic. And it’s a breath of fresh air. Die hard fans may say it’s softer, a cop out. Shhhh, commercial. Bollocks. It’s simply a great song, and a band pulling something new out of their collective bag of tricks. It’s also uplifting in the context of a concept album. Almost like it’s preparing you for a happy ending. I guess part of me would’ve like more surprises like this on the album.

Prior to that track, we’ve had plenty of punishingly heavy songs, such as opener Shock, Hi-Tech Hate and the title Track. All held together by running commentary. Ah, takes me back to what I consider to be the best concept album I’ve heard, Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime. That took a while to sink in, and maybe that’s one of the things that will happen with this. Maybe I’m looking for too much too soon.

Timelessness ends, and the familiarity seems complete. That gentle track to end, gentle yet sombre. See, this is a damn fine album. It really really is. And one that I’m pretty certain will grow on me in time. Which won’t be a pretty sight. But because it’s been “so eagerly anticipated”, it ultimately feels a little bit empty.