Let’s continue the re-issues and remixes, with a pretty entertaining remix album from Fear Factory.
Now, this one is a little different from the ones I’ve reviewed, because all the tracks are reworking of songs from their previous album Aggression Continuum, often to the point of being unrecognizable. They’re mostly shorter, are in a different order and have different titles, in fact sometimes the choruses are the only way to recognize the song. So it’s better to see this as a new album. How does it sound? Well, as good as ever.
After a spoken word intro, opener “Hatred Will Prevail” (a remix of “Monolith”, if you’re curious) is a punchy track with gnarly industrial effects and a weird part in the middle with the chorus and other previous parts heard together at the same time. It gets you really amped up for the rest of the album. We get into even heavier stuff, with “Disobey” (more obviously a remix of “Disruptor”) and its loud riffs and electronic effects intro. It’s music you can both headbang and dance to. “System Assassin” (formerly “Aggression Continuum”) has a similar mix of heavy riffs and strange, stuttering industrial sounds that make the song feel both dangerous and catchy.
But the most energized, heavy and fun track, and the best reworking of anything on “Aggression Continuum” would have to be “I Am the Nightrider”, a remix of “Fuel Injected Suicide Machine”. The interesting but not particularly fun or engaging song has been turned into something relentlessly heavy and fast, with cool electronic effects, angry screamed verses and an irresistibly catchy chorus. It’s also one of the greatest “I am the (cool character)” anthems.
Let’s compare it to the other remix most different from its original, the melancholic “Worthless”, which starts with sad singing before the very danceable industrial sounds. While I’m not sure if turning the angry and desperate metal lament of the original “End of Line” into a dance track was a good idea, this one sounds pretty good if you listen with an open mind. Despite the dance beat, it’s another of the mellower tracks, like “Path to Salvation”, with mostly sung vocals and mostly industrial sounds, with occasional guitars.
This is contrasted by the angry “Empires Fall”, made mostly of riffs and growls with some industrial sounds. It’s the heaviest on the album, aside from a little piano part at the end. “Hypocrisy of Faith” is another very heavy track, with similarly loud with sharp and shrill industrial effects. But one of the angriest and most defiant songs is definitely “This is My Life”, a remix of “Cognitive Dissonance” that has been reworked into a fast industrial metal screaming about how “this is my life” and no one can tell me what to do.
Finally, the title track remixes “Recode”, but uses the “Fear is the mind killer” monologue from “Dune” that was used in “End of Line”. It has all the good things about the album: angry vocals, angry yet very danceable industrial sounds and heavy guitars.
Obviously, this remix album is just a way to fill time before the release of new material. But as far as discography fillers go, you could do a lot worse. The remixes have good industrial effects, good riffs, and keep the energy of the originals, even enhance it sometimes. Just listen to that awesome remix of “Fuel Injected Suicide Machine”, which is the number one reason to hear that album. Other tracks are similarly energetic and entertaining, often faster and wilder than their originals. This is the best way to remix your songs: not just by playing them at a different speed or a slightly different melody, but completely changing them, often into something even better.
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