Fear Factory - Fear Is the Mindkiller (1993)Release ID: 1638

Fear Factory - Fear Is the Mindkiller (1993) Cover
Daniel Daniel / June 13, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

You simply couldn’t ignore Los Angeles industrial death metallers Fear Factory when they exploded onto the scene with their 1992 debut album “Soul of a New Machine”. Although their sound wasn’t ideally suited to my personal taste, I still found myself purchasing the CD & attending the shows with all of my metal-loving mates & quite enjoying myself along the way. Metal radio was all over Fear Factory so you almost had no choice but to become exposed to them & their unique combination of precision, melody & extremity sounded really fresh at the time. As an album, I don’t mind “Soul of a New Machine” but feel that the band would comfortably eclipse it with their next album “Demanufacture” which is still the benchmark for Fear Factory to this day in my opinion. Somewhere in between those two albums though, we find this little remix E.P. which drew a somewhat shocked response from a teenage me. The very gall of an extreme metal band to attempt EDM-infused versions of their more popular songs! It certainly sounded like an awful idea to me on paper so I don’t think I went into it with a lot of hope to be honest & that may well have played a role in me eventually dismissing “Fear is the Mindkiller” as a release that was categorically not for me. However, by the end of the 1990’s I’d been sucked up by the exciting techno juggernaut & spent the next decade spinning tunes in dark, underground clubs so I’m hoping that now I might be better predisposed to enjoying this record. Let’s find out, shall we?

“Fear is the Mindkiller” contains six songs & clocks in at around the 32 minute mark. Five of those pieces are electronica/electro-industrial remixes of tracks taken from the debut album with the album version of “Self Immolation” also being tossed in for good measure. I honestly think that “Self Immolation” was a strange track to nominate to fill out the run time given that a) it’s not one of the better tracks from “Soul of a New Machine” & b) there are already two remixed versions of that track included on the E.P. which leads to repetition. Thankfully though, there is some quality to be found in this material, even for those of you that might only be open to metal music. None of the original tracks are indecipherable in these remixes with all five of them offering regular snippets at the very least. Interesingly though, it’s the pieces that take Fear Factory the furthest away from their original works that work best with “Self Immolation (Vein Tap Mix)” & “Scumgrief” (Deep Dub Trauma Mix)” being comfortably my pick of the bunch. The one failure actually lines up with the heaviest of the songs in the Pig Fuck Mix of “Scapegoat” which is essentially just a misguided attempt to place a dance beat behind the original & fails to connect on anywhere near the same level.

I’ve found myself quite liking “Fear is the Mindkiller” for the most part. The electronic component isn’t done to an elite level but (apart from “Scapegoat”) it’s executed reasonably well &, on most occasions, brings something a bit different to the originals. I can’t say that I regard the E.P. as being essential but, then again, I don’t consider “Soul of a New Machine” to be either. This is certainly an underrated release, perhaps receiving undue criticism from a metal community that can at times be fairly closed-minded when it comes to electronic music.

For fans of HEALTH, Front Line Assembly & Ministry's "Rio Grande Dub Ya".

Sonny Sonny / June 03, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

Fear Is the Mindkiller is an EP of remixes of tracks from the FF's debut, Soul of a New Machine, with three of the six tracks being various versions of Self Immolation, one of which is the original album version. To be honest, the first two tracks sound fucking horrible to my ears, bringing to mind images from second-rate post-apocalyptic movies where tribes of rejects from Mad Max 2 dance round huge bonfires before setting off to harass the movie's main characters. Industrial metal mixed with electronic dance music and exactly the sort of thing that overloads my auditory sense mechanism, verging on the unbearable. For me personally, Hell sounds like this.

Things do improve after that and, in fairness, the remixes of Scapegoat and Scumgrief aren't quite that bad, but Scapegoat sounds poorly put together (the clean singing sections just sound right out of place) with Scumgrief (Deep Dub Trauma Mix) probably coming out on top of the remixed tracks. The Liquid Sky Mix of Self Immolation also has it's moments, but it does tend to drag on a bit. I know the fact that I have never been part of the EDM scene massively affects my opinion here, but it is what it is. Obviously, for me, the original version of Self Immolation is the best track here by a long way and even that is well short of FF's best work.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi) Shadowdoom9 (Andi) / November 27, 2022 / Comments 0 / 0

I hate to admit this, but this is the worst release ever done by Fear Factory, worse than Transgression. BUT... Not all of it is bad. Fear is the Mindkiller is the transition release between Soul of a New Machine and Demanufacture, being a remix EP of a few tracks from the former. The remixes add more synths and programming to the deathly sound. They prove how well the band can stand in the line between death metal and industrial techno without leaning too much into one or the other, and that can't be denied.

The problem here is, the remixes sound too detached from the originals. As much as I consider Rhys Fulber a genius for his remixing skills, his electronic usage could've been better played and less distorted, with a more dimensional balance.

"Martyr (Suffer B****rd Mix)" is actually a promising start, the way a remix is supposed to sound, more industrial while staying metal. Fear Factory can really maintain their extreme industrial metal in these remixes. H*ll, this is probably close to proto-cyber metal! A great throwback for longtime Fear Factory fans. There are two remixes of "Self Immolation", starting with the "Vein Tap Mix" that doesn't work as well as the second one which we will talk about shortly.

"Scapegoat (Pigf*** Mix)" manages to maintain the best of Burton C. Bell's harsh growls and clean singing, but it's still as flawed as the original song with too much industrial repetition. "Scumgrief" (Deep Dub Trauma Mix) starts off promising with its original proto-melodeath riffing. However, the overuse of techno beats can be quite traumatic for the more deathly metalheads. On the other hand, the more atmospheric sounds in "Self Immolation (Liquid Sky mix)" have paid off well. The death metal aggression is in perfect flow with the techno groove, another remix saving the EP from being a total disaster. The first edition includes the original "Self Immolation" from the debut.

Fear is the Mindkiller is a tough release to get attached to for pure metalheads. The remixing really could've been done better, and I can say the same about the rhythm and some vocals. Still it's an all right trip to get you geared up for the power and glory of Demanufacture, if you're going through the band's discography chronologically....

Favorites (only ones I truly like): "Martyr (Suffer B****rd Mix)", "Self Immolation (Liquid Sky mix)"


Release info

Release Site Rating

Ratings: 4 | Reviews: 3


Release Clan Rating

Ratings: 3 | Reviews: 3


Cover Site Rating

Ratings: 3


Cover Clan Rating

Ratings: 3

Fear Is the Mindkiller
The Horde
The Sphere

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