Genexus (Nuclear Blast)
By Mike Delano
Hollywood couldn’t be bothered to deliver a non-shitty Terminator movie this summer, but that didn’t stop the much more reliable Fear Factory from putting together another kick-ass soundtrack to the near-future robot apocalypse. Genexus, their ninth album, delivers exactly the mix of brutality, melody, foreboding and ambition we always want from them. The opening track won’t turn any heads, but soon enough we’re off to the races with “Anodized” and “Dielectric” — both punctuated by soaring choruses from vocalist Burton C. Bell — that recall the wide-eyed, cinematic scope of Obsolete. Then the band really digs in with “Soul Hacker,” a bass-heavy bruiser that sounds like a lost cut from their aggressive 2004 comeback record Archetype, and the title track, which serves as a reminder that FF is never afraid to throw some groove into the mix (see: “Descent,” even “Replica”) that you can almost dance to (not advised while in the pit). Likewise, they’ve always found success with sprinkling in some slow tracks throughout their albums, both to provide contrast and to lend some gravity to the tales they tell of technological warfare and the rapid evolution of man into machine. Here, “Expiration Date” and the bonus track “Enhanced Reality” serve that purpose well, walking the line between forlorn remembrance of the time before technology overload and battle cry for resisting automation and living life to the fullest. It’s inspiring to know that Bell and guitarist Dino Cazares still have such a burning desire to refuse and resist after all these years, and as long as they keep putting out albums this strong, long may they keep fighting on the frontlines.