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The long-awaited reunion of front-man Burton C. Bell and guitarist Dino Cazares in Fear Factory heralded the Mechanize album in 2010, their first of new material in nine years. It was met with a mixed response and mostly contained songs which were far too similar and lacked ambition. With this album they've corrected that mistake, building most of the songs around much more interesting riffs, with Bell backing off screaming at the top of his lungs in favour of a much more considered, albeit no less aggressive, approach. After its rousing intro the title track kicks the album off with what might be a typical Fear Factory riff, but where The Industrialist as an album far betters Mechanize is that same typical FF riff is not then repeated on all of the other tracks. All of the others have riffs fans will have heard the likes of before, but they're different ones, and with increased used of melodic vocal passages here as well, the album is a thoroughly more engaging listen, until it all goes wrong at the end. After all that good work they let the album down massively with the nine-minute dirge Human Augmentation, which is purely industrial noise, effects, and distorted spoken-word; no music to speak of at all. It would have been fine as a 90-second filler, but most listeners are almost sure to find themselves hitting 'stop' after excellent two-minute instrumental Religion Is Flawed Because Man Is Flawed. The Industrialist is almost what Mechanize should have been, and although there'll be some complaints that it doesn't exactly push the Fear Factory envelope, after such a boring return last time, this at least puts them back on an even keel.
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