Didn't we just have a new Fear Factory album come
out just a year ago? Well, actually, we
did. Since the band's return, they seem to have turned
up their activity to eleven and with Transgression,
they've managed to release two albums in two years. Described
as "experimental", Transgression offers a shift in
content away from the no BS Archetype. This is not
to say that this offering doesn't have some blistering tracks.
It does, but they're tempered with some different offerings.
As with previous offerings, the core of Fear Factory's
work is largely industrial-influenced metal, soaked with high-speed
drums, thrashing agressive guitars and deep toned bass lines.
Burton's vocals range from raspy throat-rattling roars to
a more harmonically tuned offerings. This balance offers a
great range of emotions to augment the music.
The album opens with 540,000° Fahrenheit, a quick-paced
thrash-fest that offers Burton a chance to be more harmonic
and lighter in tone. The moments where he sings along with
the keyboards and drums really lift the song up and the more
upbeat nature of the track is refreshing. The title track,
Transgression, roars to life afterward, punishing the
listener with trademark stacco drums and guitar notes. The
quick stop/go pattern of the song feels like the Fear Factory
of old at the core. Spinal Compression is an awesome
track, probably one of the best on the album. It hammers at
the listener, driving them along to the more emotional climax
near the end. Contagion has a grainy, unfinished quality
to it that compliments the dark nature of the vocals. Empty
Vision, much like the opening track, features more of
the uplifting vocals and has a great pace that carries you
After the initial five song salvo, the album takes a noticeable
shift with Echo of My Scream, a slow, moody piece that
features subdued vocals and a heavy use of keyboards. If you
didn't know better, you'd think that maybe this song was from
another band. Following this is Supernova, a quirky,
upbeat rock track featuring a pretty catchy hook that shows
up midway through the song. After this is New Promise,
which takes a bit of time to get to the more heavy aspects
of the song. After this are two cover tracks - U2's
I Will Follow and Killing Joke's Millennium.
The final track, Moment of Impact is a return to the
sledgehammer methods from previous albums, pounding the listener
with thunderous drums and bass.
If there's any complain I have about this album is that there's
just too much filler. Does an eleven track album really need
two cover songs? We know Fear Factory loves to do cover
tracks. We've heard Cars, Dog Day Sunrise and
School. Fear Factory should just do a cover
song album so they can get these off of their main albums.
Outside of this, I don't mind the attempts to offer new ideas
and musical concepts into their repetoir. It's what the band
has always done.
If you're a Fear Factory fan, you should already have
this album. It may not be the best they've offered, but it
still pushes the band forward and proves that they don't want
to get lost in the stacks of mediocre me-too bands that arise