Fear Factory

Concrete (Roadrunner Records 2002)

Album review

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While still licking my wounds from the breakup of this band, I discover Fear Factory's "first studio recording" in my mailbox. While I'm relatively sure this release only serves to end a binding contract obligation somewhere, I decide to suck it up and give it a listen.
While many of these songs were re-recorded for Soul Of A New Machine, or re-arranged and re-named only to show up on later albums, there are a few I've never heard before...and after hearing them I'm wondering why. "Sangre De Ninos" is pretty badass, as is "Piss Christ", (no not the mindfuck that's on Demanufacture, but a completely different song with the same name). "Ulceration" isn't too shabby either. The spoken intro to Big God/Raped Souls is amazing in an errie fucked up kinda way (is that amp line buzz I'm hearing?) and the vocals at the end are...interesting. I'm actually liking a few versions on here better than the recordings on "Soul..." It's also cool to hear the different lyrics on a few songs (if only they were printed out!).
This album bears witness to the unbelieveable influence Fear Factory left on the metal world, not just Burton's never heard before vocal style, (which everyone has ripped off) but the mixuture of downtuned death metal, samples, and industrial sounds which are all too common now. Here we also bear witness to Raymond forging into uncharted drummer territory by doing with his feet what others only dream with their hands. This album should surely go down as one of the most amazing death metal releases ever.
As a huge FF fan I'd say this is a must have, even though the cover art looks slapped together and the liner notes pretty much state the obvious, (the exceptions being a few interesting history tales). It's worth it just to hear FF way back when, still feeling everything out, all heavy, raw and oh so anolog.

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