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Fear Factory

Remanufacture

RoadRunner Records 1997

Review by Vlad Levin


Following up on their definitive album, Demanufacture, released in 1995, Fear Factory have put out a remix album, (in)appropriately dubbed Remanufacture. I guess this idea is similiar to Nine Inch Nails' Broken/Fixed combo in the sense that, in spite of the name, the remixed album is far more experimental, eclectic and fucked up than the original.

Demanufacture was undoubtedly the best album of '95, and I for one was very curious to see what Fear Factory would do with it for the remix. No suspense here, what they did was to hand the album over to a bunch of hardcore/techno and industrial DJs, mixing the original tracks together with a lot of those lazy syncopated (phat?) beats so characteristic of hardcore/techno, adding bleeps and other assorted electronic noises, and some unusual and unexpected stuff in places, like straight piano sequeways. And it's through all this soup that the actual Demanufacture songs emerge, raw and primally devastating.

Overall this album is very different from the original, definitely not a rehash -- in fact I had trouble recognizing some songs altogether. The mixes are clever and interesting and work well with the concept of the album: Mutation, genetic hybridization, technological meddling into natural processes, cloning technology.

It's been a long path from their Death roots for Fear Factory. Whether you consider this album to be progress depends on your own tastes. One thing is certain, this remix album doesn't quench the fire of anticipation for a new album from Burton Bell and the gang.

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