There’s already a million identical reviews of Fear Factory’s Aggression Continuum floating around that there internet land so Worship Metal simply cuts to the chase and answers the questions on everyone’s lips. No bullshit, no fannying around, just straight up answers to the burning questions.
This is Fear Factory we’re talking about, of course there’s been drama! With plenty of behind the scenes turmoil often deflecting from the music (law-suits, divorce, bankruptcy, in-fighting), we’re as surprised as the next man to actually be reviewing Aggression Continuum, the 10th album from a band who refuse to quit. And yet, once again, this release is overshadowed by more negative press. This time around, it’s the departure of vocalist Burton C. Bell who, before Aggression Continuum‘s release, seemingly left the impenetrable darkness of the factory floor in search of gainful employment in another industry.
Drama? Life in Fear Factory is like a fucking sci-fi soap opera!
Who’s in Fear Factory this time then?
Tony Campos (Static X, Soulfly, Ministry, Prong) is now in the band but didn’t contribute to the recording of Aggression Continuum.
Is Aggression Continuum as good as Fear Factory’s iconic 90’s releases Demanufacture (1995) and Obsolete (1998)?
Fear Factory’s 90’s output was ground-breaking and that’s not up for debate. With 1995’s Demanufacture and 1998’s Obsolete defining FF’s distinct cyber-metal sound, the preceding years has seen Dino Cazares and Burton C. Bell offering up variances on the theme to, mostly, diminishing returns.
So, no. Aggression Continuum is not as good as Demanufacture and Obsolete. But then you weren’t seriously expecting it to be, were you?
Is it as good as last album, Genexus, then?
2015’s Genexus was a post 00’s highlight and Fear Factory have come very close to matching its mechanised fury. It’s certainly better than 2012’s The Industrialist, put it that way!
How are Burton’s vocals?
Same as ever. Youthful even. With his roar remaining resolute and his 80s new wave croon standing firm, there’s no doubt that FF will struggle without him leading the line. Unsurprisingly, the record company demanding that Burton’s vocals remain on the record (Dino thought otherwise!) is in Aggression Continuum’s favour.
Is Aggression Continuum’s lead single “Disruptor” a good example of the quality of the album?
Nope. “Disruptor” was shite. A by-the-numbers, Fear Factory-lite (or Spineshank on a good day if we want to be particularly cruel) exercise in retreading old-ground. Fortunately, it is not representative of Aggression Continuum’s overall quality.
Should we give a shit that Aggression Continuum even exists?
Yes. Aggressive, angular and antagonistic, Aggression Continuum is, despite the turmoil, surprisingly effective when taken as a whole and few would have expected such an assured album, especially given the circumstances.
Conclusion: Aggression Continuum turns out to be a fitting swansong for a band who surely can’t continue under the Fear Factory moniker without Burton at the helm. Saying that, Dino lives to prove the haters wrong and it’s highly likely his apocalyptic ‘man v machine’ creation will live on…..in one contorted way or another!
Overall impression, a very respectable: 7/10
Of course, none of the above is a substitute for listening to Aggression Continuum and forming your own damn opinion. This shit is subjective! Any other questions you require answering? Stick ’em in the comments below, we’ll have a crack at them….the more obscure the better!