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Well, then, just what do we have here? The quintessential Fear Factory album? One that tops the might of their widely regarded seminal work, 'Demanufacture'? Yep, 'Genexus' is most certainly both of those things... and more. First off, I need to mention the mammoth and quite wondrous production for this album. With the band co-producing alongside their longtime knob twiddler, Rhys Fulber, and Andy Sneap mixing and mastering, it's a potent combination that's engendered their best sounding record to date. Seriously, the results are massive, incisive and hard-hitting. Drums sound phenomenal throughout, which are both programmed and live I hasten to add, so naysayers and the insular minded who were overly critical of the 100% drum programming on 'The Industrialist' will be happier here. Although clinically executed in both sound and performance, the live drums (courtesy of Mike Heller) perhaps add more of an organic edge at times, so provide a more human touch here and there. Likewise, the precision of Dino Cazares' palm-muted riffage is both breathtaking and exhilarating in its execution, providing songs, together with the drums, with an invigorating and absorbing impetus - at once, both clinical and organic. Then there is an overlay of all manner of additional programming, with samples ranging from mechanized, industrial sounds to cinematically inclined epicness. And it's that very sonic symbiosis of the clinical/organic blend through drums, bass, guitar, and programming that conveys the album's thematic substance perfectly. Amongst other sources, the album's central theme draws heavily from Ray Kurzweil's 'The Singularity is Near'; a theory dealing with the imminent, irreversible integration of artificial intelligence and technological advances with humanity, and the implications of such. The machine/human integration thematic is, of course, not a new one for Fear Factory, although 'Genexus' succeeds in blending composition, performance, production and theme with utterly flawless results.

Vocals-wise, Burton C. Bell has never sounded better. His gruff/semi-growled delivery lends songs an impassioned impulse that drives forward songs' narratives with thrilling urgency. His clean voice almost acts as exposition to the growls, explicating central themes, predominantly over tracks' choruses. And then there's the album's closing track, 'Expiration Date', which kind of serves as a dénouement in terms of both musical outro, and narrative semi-closure (in a quasi-ambiguous, open-ended way). This sees Bell exercise only his clean voice over a dramatically-induced, melodically-charged and more laid-back Fear Factory excursion - there are five minutes of vocal-driven melodies before this gives way to a lengthy, ambient, industrial-infused, 3+ minute outro. Ridiculously phenomenal is the only way to describe this closing number, as is the only way to describe what will, in essence, become Fear Factory's newly regarded masterwork. 'Genexus' has it all. You want a 'Demanufacture' vibe in certain tracks, albeit delivered with a more emphatic zest through both composition and performance? You got it. You want the hard-hitting grooves of perennial fan favourites such as 'Linchpin'? You got it too. Sonically dramatized, cinematic flair? Sure, that's there too. And, as I started this review with, this is not only the best ever sounding Fear Factory record production-wise, but one of the best sounding metal albums ever produced by any band, ever. Quite simply, 'Genexus' is utterly incredible on every level. Now people will have to start debating how the band will go about topping this masterpiece, not 'Demanufacture'.
Nuclear Blast
Review by Mark Holmes
7th August 2015
1) Autonomous Combat System
2) Anodized
3) Dielectric
4) Soul Hacker
5) Protomech
6) Genexus
7) Church of Execution
8) Regenerate
9) Battle for Utopia
10) Expiration Date
"...'Genexus' is utterly incredible on every level. Now people will have to start debating how the band will go about topping this masterpiece, not 'Demanufacture'."