April 22, 2024

New Fury Media

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This Day In Music History: August 25th, 1992 – Fear Factory emerges with the groundbreaking ‘Soul Of A New Machine’

In the realm of industrial metal, few bands or musicians can claim as much development to the genre as Fear Factory. Emerging at the beginning of the ’90s and just as the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry were beginning their climb to the mainstream, Fear Factory didn’t hit huge heights until their 1995 sophomore album Demanufacture. That’s not a slight against their 1992 debut album Soul Of A New Machine, though. If anything, it’s a record that perhaps arrived too early for and was too harsh for a wider audience to explore. After all, much of the album is still indebted to the harshness of death metal and even grindcore.

It was also almost as groundbreaking as their later work, though, for many reasons. One, Burton Bell’s vocals, even early on, included singing – a very rare trait in metal that was this harsh. The album even starts off with this distinction, not even halfway through album opener “Martyr”. Two, the sheer diversity and blend of styles at work here is staggering. Thrash metal, groove metal, industrial metal, grindcore, death metal, and even some alternative metal elements all rear their heads here, and the short track lengths also help in this regard. While a raw performance overall, the record is one that would see success later in Fear Factory’s career – and as many other bands sought to mimic their pummeling industrial metal sound, they’d eventually proceed to hit the big time later in the decade.

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