Posted on by Oran

Fear Factory’s 2012 album ‘The Industrialist’ gets re-evaluated and re-envisioned with a brand new makeover, and the results show it is exactly what this record was missing all along.

It’s no secret that the last six years or so haven’t been kind to the LA cyber-industrial metal band.

From a very publicised lawsuit between former members, (leading to singer Burton C Bell quitting, and the last album took a swift four years to get released, you’d wonder why founding member, and now only original member, Dino Cazares would revisit an album that very recently just turned eleven years old.

Well, this album now most definitely goes to 11!

Fear Factory’sRe-Industrialized‘ is a remixed and remastered version of the album The Industrialist, and the biggest difference is the addition of live drums provided by, now-former member, Mike Heller, who had until recently been the band’s drummer since 2012. Due to his other commitments with numerous other bands/projects, Heller recently was replaced by Havok drummer, Pete Webber.

But rewind to 2011 when messers Cazares, and then vocalist Burton C Bell, were in the recording stages of The Industrialist album, they would be let down in the eleventh hour by then drummer Gene Hogan, who made his Fear Factory debut on the previous album, 2010’s, ‘Mechanize‘.

With time constraints and a studio budget dwindling, Cazares and Bell made the call to complete the album with digital drums, which was initially received with mixed reviews, some fans praising the decision as it harkens back to the real industrial vibes of some of the earlier influences such as Godflesh and Pitchshifter, who have both famously use programmed drumming, but many fans also criticised the decision. This clearly didn’t sit well with Cazares for a number of years, but as he announced a year or two or so ago, “‘The Industrialist’ would be finally getting a makeover, and this would also include real drums!

Since the initial announcement, Dino has now replaced Bell with Italian vocalist Milo Silvestro, and to say the machine is now alive is very much alive is an understatement. But the fans will have to wait a little while longer to hear some studio recordings with Silvestro as the majority of 2023 is chock full of touring….

So to whet your whistle, ‘Re-Industrialized’ brings the old songs of ’The Industrialist‘ to new listening pleasure. Samples and keyboards that were often buried in the mix are now much more prominent and of course, Heller’s drumming turns these songs from almost demo quality to matching the last few albums, sitting now equally in the overall sonic and heaviness. Some songs now sound even more brutal as Heller has not performed an exact copy of the programmed drums, but added his own little twists and touches here n there throughout.

Songs like ‘Difference Engine’ and ‘Depraved Mind Murder’ take on a whole new level of HOLY SHIT!, I mean they were already bangers in their own right but now they are just flawless! Also included is the full album as Dino always envisioned it which includes the final track trilogy, a 16-minute behemoth in the form of ‘Religion Is Flawed Because Man Is Flawed’ – Enhanced Reality – Human Augmentation’.

We also have five bonus tracks of which four are unreleased until now, two being remixes, and three cover songs from bands like Pitchshifter and Big Black. All in all, ‘Re-Industrialized’ is what the album was always missing, a little finesse that was kinda missing all these years but now it can easily sit alongside ‘Genexus’ (2015) and ‘Aggression Continuum’ (2020), and hold its head high. If you already loved ’The Industrialist’ you are gonna become re-besotted, if you never gave it much attention, maybe now you should give it a try.

‘Re-Industrialized’ is set for release this Friday, 23rd June via Nuclear Blast Records. Order your copy via this link.

You can thank me later. 10/10

DJ Pennell 2023