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Fear Factory

Los Angeles hardcore and industrial-metal pioneer Fear Factory have returned after a short breakup with Archetype. Citing creative differences with then-guitarist Dino Cazares, the group disbanded in 2002. Reuniting a year later with bassist Christian Olde Wolbers taking over the vacant guitar slot and former Strapping Young Lad bassist Byron Stroud joining the band, Fear Factory is ready to reclaim their territory.

Archetype opens with the pounding anthem, "Slave Labor." Highlighted by drummer Ray Herrera's double bass work, the song deals with how lead singer Burton C. Bell views the music industry.

"A contract with the devil for a life of disdain / See me in the limelight, an indentured slave / I blame myself," Bell grunts in the opening verse.

"Nothing you say matters to us. ... You are a virus, spreading a disease / Your life is so sad, spreading lies on me," Bell declares in the chorus of "Cyberwaste." The first single from Archetype, "Cyberwaste" was written about the ignorance of people in online chat rooms. Without the band wanting to admit it, the chorus of the song might also double as a message for Cazares.

Another highlight is the album's title track. "The soul of this machine has improved," Bell sings in the track about the rebirth of the band.

Fans familiar with Fear Factory's sound of down-tuned, heavy riffs and machine gun-like drums will be pleased with Archetype. Overall, Archetype is a perfect mix of the band's last three albums: 1995's Demanufacture, 1998's Obsolete and 2001's Digimortal. Fear Factory continues to produce true musical craftsmanship.

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