We’ve already covered albums such as Metallica‘s St. Anger, Megadeth’s Risk, Paradise Lost’s Host, Saxon’s Destiny & Sabbat’s Mourning Has Broken and it’s high time Fear Factory‘s Digimortal received the same treatment….
Fear Factory had spent the 90’s in imperious form, embodying the perfect amalgamation of futuristic brains and brawn and becoming pioneers in their field. And then came the 21st century. What happened? Nu metal happened! And everybody’s favourite bunch of cyber-metallers decided nu metal was the only way to go.
Aside, perhaps, from the bouncy “What Will Become” and singles “Lynchpin” and “Invisible Wounds (Dark Bodies)”, this is not an album that warrants repeat listens. Featuring tired song writing and lacking the potency and identity that made them such an irresistibly unique proposition in the first place, Digimortal(2001) remains a risible wet fart of an album and would surely have seen the band rechristened as Fecal Factory if they’d continued down this path.
While 1998’s Obsolete may have signalled that a turn to the nu-metal dark side was on the cards, it was on Digimortal that these industrial metal trailblazers went full on ‘baggy’! Actually, that’s a little harsh as Fear Factory were still semi-recognisable as the band that released the ground-breaking Demanufacture, but their sound had been diluted in what was clearly an attempt to tap into the mainstream market controlled by nu metal.
So, Fear Factory wanted their own piece of the nu metal pie…. which is understandable. But, alongside Slayer’s Diabolus In Musica and Machine Head’s The Burning Red and Supercharger all they achieved was to alienate their loyal fanbase and plonk themselves in with a ton of also ran Korn knock-offs that wouldn’t have known a good song even if it had shat directly on their heads. Special mention must go to the rap metal idiocy of “Back The Fuck Up” (feat.Cypress Hill’s B-Real). Sweet holy shit, it’s easily the worst thing Fear Factory ever recorded. Avoid.
Does Fear Factory’s Digimortal deserve to be cut some slack? We’re going to say NO! It just doesn’t hold up and when you’ve the aforementioned Demanufacture in your back catalogue…. it really doesn’t cut the damn mustard!
“Lynchpin” is alright though