Fear Factory – Digimortal (2001)

September 22, 2014
Fear Factory – Digimortal (2001)

I would like to admit that this album is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I’d probably be pushing it a bit too far. Digimortal is a strange one – a rare result of an industrial-influenced death metal band selling their asses out and cashing in on the nu-metal craze of the late 90s. Hey, I’m not saying Digimortal is particularly ground-breaking, but this came across far, far more successful than say, Cryptopsy’s absymal weakening into deathcore territory. Both bands are prime examples of respected musicians abandoning their sound (and even fanbase) in a drastic attempt at getting ca$h moniez (perhaps through record label pressure or otherwise), but where Cryptopsy’s crossover left them almost universally reviled, Fear Factory’s dabble with nu-metal could even be called a triumph, thanks to one word: “Linchpin”.

Ask anybody who has ever been into any metal or rock at any time if they know any Fear Factory tracks, and chances are they’ll say “Linchpin”, or at the least know the riff and opening lyrics. It was one of the most over-played music videos on MTV2, Kerrang! and Scuzz TV, and is still being played in crappy rock clubs the world over like it was last week’s number one hit. Why? I have a theory. Rather than watering down their sound to conform to a trend, Fear Factory somehow just managed to cram their brutally heavy metal into the restrictions of their new genre. It might be nu-metal, but it’s heavier than a neutron fucking star. The riffs are the same quick-fire, rapid-shot attack, the drums are the same pummelling, nail-gun barrage.

And this doesn’t stand just for “Linchpin”, I’m talking about the entire record here. Give it a listen! I recently dug this out after probably not hearing it for 18,000 years (it was spun drunkenly at a BBQ a few years back, but that doesn’t count) and I couldn’t believe how heavy this still sounds. I’m not saying it’s gonna stand the test of time, but for what it is, it’s pretty awesome, in my opinion.

(wait, what….???)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *