Fear Factory

with Blood Duster

On Wednesday night metal legends Fear Factory showed why they can deservedly claim that iconic status. Putting something of a tumultuous decade behind them, the band returned to Australian shores with a set of classic songs from their history that clocked in at almost two hours.


Loud, tight, abrasive and intense, every song delivered, and every punter went home happy. Regardless of various line up changes, legal battles and a set that excluded any material guitarist Dino Cazares did not record, he and vocalist Burton C. Bell, along with touring band members, Gene Hoglan and Byron Stroud reminded a crowd spanning two generations of exactly what Fear Factory had to offer.


Support act Blood Duster punched through a brutal set of their trademark short and aggressive songs, interspersed with a twisted humour. Cramming a variety of songs into their short set, Blood Duster had to work hard to win over a mixed crowd, most of whom were too young and dumb to realize who the band even where. This reviewer overheard at least two punters asking their friends who the band were, but was happy to hear an old salt at the bar tell his mate if he got married again, he would have Blood Duster play at the wedding.


Obviously the crowd was here to see Fear Factory however. A growing sense of anticipation was evident as the crowd, which included members of Mastodon, patiently faced the stage awaiting the arrival of their heroes. With little fuss Fear Factory hit the stage hard, opening with the double punch to the head of 'Shock' and 'Edgecrusher' from their epic album Obsolete. This launched the crowd into a frenzy.


Seemingly years of pent up aggression was being released as both the crowd and the band found a common bond via the music. The crowd itself was interesting, made up of a mix of old metal heads and new little kids. This provided an unique dichotomy between those watching and appreciating a band that many had grown up with - and the stupid punch drunk mosh pit revellers who thought it was all about how many bruises you went home with. If only these youngsters had some respect for themselves, their fellow punters, and the music.


But I digress. To be fair, I found myself in the pit for most of the set, as Fear Factory tore through a variety of their classic, iconic songs, including 'Martyr' and 'Scapegoat' from debut Soul Of A New Machine. They also brought out 'Smasher/Devourer' from Obsolete and 'Linchpin' and 'Acres Of Skin' from Digimortal.


Introducing new single 'Powershifter' and another song from the upcoming album Mechanize mid set was a clever move, as was following them up with the anthemic 'Resurrection'. An epic track that epitomizes the essence of Fear Factory and the genre they invented. 'Resurrection' was clearly one of the highlights of the set.


More than aware of the legend they have created, the band ended the night with a set of tracks from seminal second album Demanufacture. Hearing the likes of 'HK (Hunter Killer)', 'Zero Signal' and 'Pisschrist' after so many years was something to remember for many more to come.


But the crowd, and the band, saved the best for last with 'Replica'. And then it was over. Writing this today, my ears are still ringing some 36 hours later and I have burst a blood vessel in my eye. Fear Factory were brutally loud, the crowd was stupidly angry, and damn if it wasn't a great fucking night and a great fucking set by one of the best metal bands to have existed, who may just have resurrected themselves for years to come.

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