Half Notes: Fear Factory – Demanufacture (1995)

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by Tom Johnson

If you want to look back and see when metal changed directions, Demanufacture is the album that could easily be the one that did it. With their previous album Soul of a New Machine, Fear Factory did something unusual: They released a remix album helmed by Front Line Assembly’s Rhys Fulber. It didn’t set the world on fire then, but when the band returned a couple years later, Fulber was chosen to mix the album outright, instead of focus on a separate remix album. The result was a serious changing of the guard for metal. No longer were beats, keyboards, and other inorganic sounds banned from the process. Fulber filled the band’s sound with electronic flourishes and a muscular, highly digital sound that came along at the right time. Nine Inch Nails were on top of their game and the public wanted anything industrial. Fear Factory, with Fulber pushing them, fused industrial with the already pummelling assualt of speed metal. Metal hasn’t been the same since.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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