Review by Sonny92 for Fear Factory - Demanufacture (1995)
In my admittedly very limited experience, I find that industrial metal's need to emulate the dehumanising nature of technology often results in quite stilted-sounding music (bands like Static-X for example). It's as if the need to replicate the machine-like rhythms ends up becoming victim to that very dehumanising trait that the music seems to be railing against. For me the success of Demanufacture is that it is still quite an engaging listen, allowing a glimpse of the unquenchable essence of humanity despite the towering banks of computers and machinery threatening to overwhelm it, being led particularly by Burton C. Bell's vocals, the human centre of the album. On the Skynet/Matrix side, Dino Cazares' crisp and hefty guitar riffing is the very epitome of the technological domination of the battle space of each of the album's eleven tracks, the machine-like rhythms seeking to subsume the last core of humanity into the machines' hive mind and the synths just add to the isolation of the atmosphere, like a wind blowing through a landscape of huge automated factories - as far as the eye can see it's all straight lines and right angles with no natural curves or irregularities
So what the fuck am I talking about? Basically there are some killer catchy, almost anthemic, metal tunes on display here - Self Bias Resistor, Dog Day Sunrise and Body Hammer especially come to mind and the final minute and a half of Pisschrist still sets the hairs on the back of my neck on end - "Crown of black thorns, Human skin, ripped and torn, Where is your saviour now?" It has been a very long time since I last played this record, or any even remotely like it I guess, but despite all the water that's passed under that particular bridge, Demanufacture is still a pretty good listen and playing it now it feels a bit like a call from an old friend you've not seen for ages and didn't realise you missed as much as you evidently do.