Fear Factory have long been considered the Godfathers of American industrial metal. This week frontman and founder, Burton C. Bell took time to update Metalholic on the band’s new album, The Industrialist, which will be released June 5, 2012 on Oxidize Records through Candlelight Records.
Bell created Fear Factory in 1989 with guitarist Dino Cazares and drummer Raymond Herrera. While Herrera left the band in 2008, Cazares returned after a seven-year hiatus for 2010’s Mechanize album. Bell and Cazares remain the driving force behind Fear Factory, with former Chimaira guitarist stepping in on bass, replacing Byron Stroud who moved on to 3 Inches of Blood. Cazares handled drum programming duties on The Industrialist which seems to fit the theme of the album.
Far more than a simple concept record, The Industrialist tells the story of an automaton that gains sentient awareness. Unlike similar such ideas, The Industrialist is the protagonist in this tale. Though as Bell readily admits, there is a duality at play with The Industrialist character:
“He plays both roles. Protagonist to the machines, antagonist to man, or the creators. In the story I wrote, the industrialist is having these moments of confusion and clarity– ‘Does this make me a bad entity?’ kind of thing, by trying to survive. Man would do the same thing. That goes to the source of higher intelligence.”
The Industrialist as a character is an automaton that has achieved the ability to feel, perceive, and reason, and finds itself in survival mode in a time when it is facing obsolescence. “In this story, offered Bell” The creators, man, is trying to take out The Industrialist and his type because it’s an old model. At the time when The Industrialist, the automaton was created, it was the best model available. But as technology improves and moves forward, or course there’s always a better model. So it’s become quote, unquote, obsolete so man searches them out to disassemble them. To destroy them.”
The new album finds the band returning to some of its industrial metal based roots, which Bell is quick to address: “In my opinion the industrial element was kind of neglected over a few albums. Before we started recording I speaking to Dino and I said ‘hey man, this is an element I really think we should re-introduce.’ Dino and me both agreed, and I think it was a really good direction to turn.”
Bell also makes an appearance on new album We Are The Others, by Dutch symphonic metal troupe, Delain. He lends his vocals on the track “Where Is The Blood”.
Fear Factory reached out to Mike Heller (Malignancy, System Divide) to play drums on the current tour.
Listen to our full interview below: