FEAR FACTORY – Transgression

FEAR FACTORY - Transgression


Calvin Records
Release date: August 22, 2005

User Review
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Had Fear Factory (FF) come up with this instead of Archetype after Dino’s departure, many would have started questioning their future. It’s not quite clear where FF is trying to take the listener with Transgression. Sure, it’s experimental and somehow even manages to sound like a natural progression, but it still leaves a nasty feeling like the band is publicly shedding their skin and revealing their yucky, softer core inside. It’s hard to tell if this is something the Hardcore fans are willing to digest.

“540,000 Degrees Fahrenheit” hints of the upcoming changes, with its heavy usage of clean-cut, melodic vocals. There’s still some shouting, but it’s less primitive. The title track “Transgression” gets back to familiar FF territory, with fast riffs and Herrera’s customary fast drumming. Yet somehow even Herrera seems to be cruising on slower than average speed. “Spinal Compression” keeps up with the familiar sound, but this time the vocals seem to be on half speed. “Contagion” and “Empty Vision” still manage to keep the momentum going, but then out of the blue it all changes.

“Echo of My Scream” is a dreamy, epic ballad, and unlike anything FF has ever produced before. They even add orchestra to the mix. Never in a million years would anyone have guessed that this was FF had they heard this out of context.

Next up is a straightforward Rock song, “Supernova,” which showcases some nice vocal harmonies. First it’s orchestras and then a Rock song with harmonizing. What’s next? Guitar solos apparently. Just check out “New Promise” with its traditional, yet brief, guitar solo.

Then it seems it’s time for the part where the band sadly shows that they have run out of ideas and burst into two covers in a row. Their cover of U2’s “I Will Follow” adds nothing new to the song, but still sounds like a song the band has had fun playing in their rehearsals. Oddly enough, the next cover song, Killing Joke’s “Millennium,” turns out to be the strongest track of the album. Not very flattering, but still it’s impossible to get that chorus out your head once it gets its hooks into you. “Moment of Impact” tries to save face, but does not quite hit the mark, even though it does get back to the more familiar, industrial FF sound.

And that’s all there is. It probably would have been a wiser move to put the latter half of this album out as an EP, as this feels like a quakey springboard towards a new direction … a direction the band hasn’t quite mastered yet. This is much slower and way more melodic (and experimental) than any other FF album, and even though this does appear to have a bit of a bumpy start and it’s not easy to fully grasp what the band is aiming for, it still convincingly shows that no matter what lies ahead, Fear Factory is not willing to take the easy road out and just stick to the familiar formula. Most may wish they had.


  • Metal-Katie

    Katie was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. She claims to have been born a Metalhead. At least she's been one as far as she can remember. She loves Metal music and she's ever so happy to see generation after another founding its charm. She's always interested in hearing new Metal bands and reading about them and their antics. She lives and breathes Metal, or at least her alter ego does.

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