Monday, April 11, 2016

Fear Factory at the Gramercy Theatre

Burton C. Bell
Guitarist Dino Cazares and drummer Raymond Herrera recruited vocalist Burton C. Bell (ex-Hate Face) in 1989 in Los Angeles, California. The new band was originally named Ulceration, but changed its name to Fear Factory in 1990 to reflect the band's new death metal sound. Fear Factory disbanded in 2002 following some internal disputes, but soon after a new line-up took the brand name. The present band consists of Bell, Cazares (who returned in 2009), bassist Tony Campos and drummer Mike Heller. Fear Factory released its ninth studio album, Genexus, on August 7, 2015.

As Fear Factory came onstage at the Gramercy Theatre tonight, Bell announced "This is Demanufacture." The band and its fans were celebrating the 20th anniversary of Demanufacture, a futuristic science fiction concept album about a man's struggles against a machine-controlled government. A kick drum pattern coupled with the opening guitar riff launched the album's self-titled lead track, and Fear Factory performed the album to the final riffs of "A Therapy for Pain." A seven-song encore consisted of two songs from the most recent album and five fan-favorites from early albums. Throughout, Bell alternated between clean vocals and death growls, while the crunching guitar riffs and blast beats powered songs rooted in grindcore and industrial metal sounds. The down point was that in order to recreate the album faithfully, several songs included excessive click tracks and prerecorded keyboards. Nevertheless, the band gave the audience what it wanted -- angry, abrasive and somewhat experimental metal -- but it may have been more interesting to have heard all the music live.

Visit Fear Factory at www. fearfactory.com.