Fear Is The Key: Fear Factory at the Bristol Bierkeller

By December 16, 2015


Photo credit: Krzysztof Raś

Photo credit: Krzysztof Raś

December 7th marked the day Fear Factory came to town and took Bierkeller by storm with their raw, guttural industrial metal onslaught. The band have always remained loyal to their signature sound: Dino Cazares’ barrage of palm-muted guitar riffs, Burton C Bell’s intense roaring and soaring melodies. Cazares and Bell have been the eye of the hurricane for Fear Factory, the bass and drums have switched players numerous times. Currently under centre are Tony Campos on bass and Mike Heller on drums, providing the backbone for the crushing brutality that Fear Factory serve out.

2015 signalled 25 years since Fear Factory formed, and 20 years since they released Demanufacture, arguably one of the best metal albums of the 1990s. So it was fitting to see them play it in full. Not only did they play it in full, but they absolutely nailed it. Critics have been strong to argue that much of the early atmospheric, electronic elements that Fear Factory possessed had been left behind. [pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Deeply satisfying and fantastically enthralling, Fear Factory at the Bierkeller was a phenomenal experience.[/pullquote]What they did not account for was the band’s abilities to rekindle their old music with such precision that makes it seem Demanufacture came out yesterday. Tracks like ‘Self Bias Resistor’ and ‘Pisschrist’ resonated with a fresh yet imposing feeling of awesome nostalgia. Speaking of music that came out yesterday (give or take a few months), the band slipped in some of their other big hits from Obsolete, ‘Shock’ and ‘Edgecrusher’ as well as three songs off of their newest album, Genexus – ‘Soul Hacker’, ‘Dialectric’ and ‘Regenerate’.

After stellar support acts in Once Human and Dead Label, Fear Factory took to the stage in front of a restless crowd but incredibly responsive after the fantastic receptions they gave the previous two bands. Amongst the constant moshing was intense electricity, brought on by the music only to have it redirected back at them in the form of extreme passion.

The band was clearly having a blast, despite the technical difficulties. There were also issues with sound levels early on, but were ironed out easily. Bell’s struggles with clean vocals have all but dissipated, perhaps largely due to the recent vocal coaching he had been having. To say it paid off would be an understatement, as it provided the flesh over the bone for what Fear Factory brought to the table. Deeply satisfying and fantastically enthralling, Fear Factory at the Bierkeller was a phenomenal experience, one that many would give to go through again.

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