Fear Factory Transgression
Grade
B+
 
Also Try
Pitchshifter
Meshuggah
Skinlab

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 through.

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 every day.

- - Vane

ILS is not affiliated with, endorsed by or related to any of the products, companies, artists or parties legally responsible for the items referred to on this website. No copyright infringement is intended.