Title Tracks: Fear Factory- Demanufacture

The year is 1995 and an album is about to be released that changes the heavy metal game for the future. This landmark album would not only put the band on the map but it would go on to be one of the most influential and inspirational albums of the 90’s metal scene and beyond. I’m talking about Fear Factory and their undeniable masterpiece, Demanufacture. There is one story I love about the making of this album that I have to share. The album was recorded at Bearsville Studios in rural New York. Also in residence at the studio was New Jersey rockers, Bon Jovi who were in the studio recording their album These Days (which is actually a really good album in the Bon Jovi catalog and quite dark too). Anyways the story goes that Fear Factory were in the studio next door and one of Bon Jovi’s engineers asked them to turn the sound down, as it was bleeding into Bon Jovi’s drum mics, during Bon Jovi’s recording sessions. But that’s a whole other story for another time. What I want is to focus on the title track of the album. The concept for the album is about a man’s struggles against a machine-controlled government, with each song a chapter in his life. The first song on the album is the title track “Demanufacture” and as a tone setter, WOW. This song is blistering. The riffs are pummeling and the drums blast like Thor’s hammer. Then when you add Burton C. Bell’s vocals of clean singing to heavier vocals, you just can’t beat it. What a way to start off an album and a classic one at best. This song has gone on to live in infamy as one of the best title tracks but also as a track one!

Fear Factory- Demanufacture:

Album Anniversary: Fear Factory- Demanufacture

FEAR FACTORY - Demanufacture CD

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Fear Factory’s album Demanufacture is, Game Changer. At the time of it’s release, Demanufacture was unlike anything coming out. The concept about a man’s struggles against a machine-controlled government, with each song a chapter in his life, is quite a weighty bit of subject matter. Looking back on that idea 25 years later, it’s definitely quite interesting to see how things in today’s society have played out. On top of that, there are so many elements about this album that have gone on to influence and inspire countless bands throughout the years. Everything from guitar tones, drum sounds, vocals, lyrical imagery and use of electronics are found in so many of the bands you love today.

The moment this album starts, you can already tell that this is going to hit you like a ton of bricks. The opening riff alone is devastating along with the pulse of the drums and bass. Throughout the album too, there is no escaping the sheer magnitude the guitars and drums put out. Then before you know it, the vocals kick in and the whole thing comes together and leaves you in a bit of shock and awe. I could go song by song but, that won’t do this album the justice it deserves. Because it’s a concept album, it’s best to take it all in and let it all brew in your mind. that being said though, I do have my favorites on this album like, “Demanufacture,” Self Bias Resistor,” “Zero Signal,” “Replica,” “Hunter-Killer,” and “Pisschrist.” I will never forget seeing Fear Factory live in 1999 and the moment they started playing songs off this album, the crowd went completely nuts. It’s definitely worth mentioning too, these songs are absolute classics in the metal community. Even if you are at a show and in between bands one of the songs from this album comes on, people in the audience tend to get pretty damn excited.

Demanufacture is and will always be regarded as a metal classic. As I mentioned in the beginning of this piece, so much of this band and this album is found in so many bands you love today. One thing in particular is the vocal style. Burton C. Bell’s harsh vocals into clean vocals were pretty much unheard of at the time and now it’s a staple in metal. The style, speed and technicality of guitarist Dino Cazares, drummer Raymond Herrera and bassist Christian Olde Wolbers are often replicated but it’s not quite the same.

It’s a shame that this band is going through so much legal turmoil over the last few years. If this era’s lineup were to reunite, it would be quite awesome. And hopefully they could work on new music together and get back to what Fear Factory is all about. At least we as fans have these albums and if you were lucky to see them live back in the day, have the memory of how good they were. Well, here’s to the day that perhaps we can see that again.

Fear Factory- Demanufacture: