Monday, June 26, 2023

Fear Factory - God Eater


From the new album Re-Industrialized. My good friend and cohost on The Horror Vision Butcher mentioned the new Fear Factory was getting pretty favorable reviews. 

Honestly, I've never had a huge attachment to this band, however, two things about them stand out to me: back in 1993, Mr. Brown and I went to Chicago's Riviera Theatre to see Sepultura on the Chaos A.D. tour. Openers were Fudge Tunnel - who we were familiar with through their debut Hate Songs in E Minor - and two bands we'd never heard of, Clutch and Fear Factory. Fear Factory would have been touring for their first major label album, Soul of a New Machine. I remember seeing their name and laughing. We joked a lot that night in the lead-up to the show: "Ooh, Fear Factory. Is that where they make the fear?" 

After Fear Factory took the stage, we stopped making fun. 

These guys blew the fucking doors off the Riv. Demanufacture came out two years later, and at first listen, you could tell it was a seminal album. It sounded so unique, the industrial beats, the chanting vocals laid atop BCB's vitriolic snarl. The overly compressed and gated guitar sound (fresh at the time, but would quickly overstay its welcome once it became a standard across the genre and birthed the metal hybrid that distinguished itself with an umlaut. 

Butcher's fervor for the new record intrigued me. What would this sound like to someone with no real connection outside of one album, tenuous at best over time?

Listening again the other night at two-something in the morning, I remembered Demanufacture for what it is - a game changer in metal production, one that inspired some great new bands and a lot of shitty ones. The same can be said for Faith No More, Helmet, and probably a few other bands I love. I wouldn't say I love FF, but I dig them enough to give the new album a chance. \

First impression was good, but weird hearing a different voice - Milo Silvestro apparently replaced Burton C. Bell after 2021's Aggression Continuum. This is a milieu and the associated drama that never found my ears. But segueing into Re-Industrialized, some tracks definitely caught my fancy. Two days later, the same tracks persist, but more of the album has opened up to me as well. The one above, but also of note is a really kick-ass track that shares a name with William Gibson's Difference Engine novel and the atmospheric dithering of "Human Augmentation," my favorite track so far simply because it's less a song and more the sonic habitation of a melting Cyber Punk city somewhere in the distant future, or forgotten past.


Since we had a stamped concrete patio put in as an extension of our back porch, it's become difficult for me to want to do anything with my nights other than sit outside with K and the cats and just enjoy the summer. Last night we were treated to a lightning storm that was out of this world. Saturday, we just sat outside, listened to music and soaked up the night. That went late, and when we finally came in, I was pretty tired. I fired up Shudder on habit, always curious as to what's playing on Shudder TV, and when I saw Cold Hell was only two minutes and some change in, I cracked another Sierra Nevada Summer Fest and settled in for what has become my second favorite Neo Giallo after Knife + Heart. I know I've talked about Cold Hell here before, like I know I've posted the trailer, but here we go again:


Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, with fantastic performances by everyone involved, Cold Hell is a relentless game of Cat-and-Mouse that always keeps my pulse jacked and my brain totally engaged, even though I've seen it enough in the last five years to know it by heart. Violetta Schurawlow's Özge is the most badass female protagonist I know, easily sailing over Sharni Vinson's Erin from You're Next - who is by no means not awesome, she just doesn't have the kickboxing prowess and surging fury that Schurawlow brings to the table while she fights for her life against a killer she accidentally witnessed murder her neighbor. The "Car Scene" in this flick is a straight redline of adrenaline, and it fires me up every time.


Forhist - Eponymous
Fear Factory - Demanufacture
Witchskull - The Serpent Tide
Perturbator - The Uncanny Valley
Ministry - The Land of Rape and Honey
Baroness - Last Word (pre-release single)
QOTSA - In Times New Roman
Fear Factory - Re-Industrialized
Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door
Ween - The Mollusk
Drug Church - Hygiene
The Watson Twins - Holler
Alice in Chains - Sap EP
Tom Waits - Raindogs
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me OST
Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom


• VI - The Lovers
• Prince of Wands - Here, I'm reading this very pointedly as applying Intellect to the Creative Process
• Princess of Wands - Likewise, applying Earthly Understanding to the Creative Process

Normally I might be tempted to read that Princess in a very different way, however, I spent a large chunk of my writing time yesterday working up a timeline and a family history for some of the major characters in the new novel - which I missed completing the first draft by last Tuesday, however, which I entered the final "act" on yesterday. Add in The Lovers, and we get this in the Grimoire:

"Finally - Man!!! As Amoeba he splits his opposite and humanity is born!"

I'm assuming I culled that from either Crowley or Moore, but I compiled the bulk of this tome a long time ago, so I'm not really sure. I know some came from contemplation of the cards, the above-mentioned sources - as well as others - and more than a few Mugwort or Mushroom experiences, so who knows?
The point, of course, is that while that sentence is not the only thing on the page for Trump VI, it is what spoke to me in this moment, because through all of the Intellect and Earthly application to Will, I feel as though I have further honed and developed the characters - who happen to be familial and are, in fact, quite purposely opposites of one another.

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