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Review of the Album Archetype by American Industrial Metal Band Fear Factory

Updated on December 18, 2021
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Introduction to the Album Archetype

Archetype is the 2004 studio album released by American industrial metal band Fear Factory and the motivation to review another album put out by these guys came from listening to Obsolete and Demanufacture. Even though Fear Factory is one of the older American metal bands, I prefer them slightly over Prong, another longtime industrial metal band.


Archetype Still Starts Out Pretty Strong

The shock that listeners may have gotten from the album Obsolete was not in the beginning of this album but still musically it works for this California band.

Fear Factory's Longevity Is Impressive

Fear Factory has lasted longer than another famous band, Pantera and that is impressive because as great and popular as Pantera were they only lasted 22 years and I say only because Fear Factory has lasted 30 years. They just kept on going with their careers and were fortunate to have been able to make it work for such a long time. Archetype is one of those albums in which Dino Cazares does not play on it.

There Is a Performance of Nirvana's Song School

Out of nowhere it seems, Fear Factory decided to do a cover performance of the song “School” by the band Nirvana. This one is much heavier and more industrial in nature. Who knows what Kurt Cobain would have thought of this performance had he still been alive to know about this.

The Significance of the Song Slave Labor

Slave Labor is a song that tells the story of what a rough life these former slaves had. It feels like the slave made a contract with the devil. He wants to get out of this situation any way that he can. Yes, 2004 was over 15 years ago but even with the passage of time, Fear Factory has been consistently good as a group and I don’t see any real decline in their music unlike Megadeth and even Slayer had a brief down period during their career. Slave labor was not fun for these slaves as they feel like they sold their souls to their masters. Stylistically this song reminds me of a more modern industrial approach and the song Cut Rate back in 1994 might have been an influence.

"Slave Labor"

Fear Factory's Status as a Band Is Disputed

The status of the band as of October 2019 is disputed because there is a lawsuit going on in which Burton C. Bell is having issues with drummer Raymond Herrera and Christian Olde Wolbers. I don’t know whether this is the end of Fear Factory as a band but if it is, then that means they would have lasted 30 years which is remarkable in a day and age where band breakups are common. Whatever is going on, this is preventing Burton and Dino Cazares from using the Fear Factory name.

A Cover of the Song "School" Originally Written by Nirvana

"Archetype" the Review & Analysis

Cyberwaste is a song that may as well be rebelling against the established working culture of corporate America. It seems like people sell their souls if they work a corporate job. Fear Factory brings up the eventualities of human life such as the fact that all humans must die and return to dust. One consistent theme for Fear Factory has been the clean harmonic vocal parts and more importantly, there are no screams from these guys which help the music flow nicely. One example of a band that may disappoint in this regard is the nu-metal band System of a Down in which there is a scream in the song B.Y.O.B. But Fear Factory uses heaviness, musical technicality; they do the job very nicely while maintaining their industrial metal music style. Bite the Hand That Bleeds is a song that addresses the daily grind of corporate culture as the profits of these companies soar while the employees are not treated the way that they should be. Undercurrent is a song that has a pretty good bass line as the heavy vocals once again surface in this song. Default Judgement is a an anti-discrimination kind of song as the excess judging by humans can only lead to the downfall of mankind.

A Photo of a Young Girl Learning Math In School

This photo symbolizes the cover performance of the song School.
This photo symbolizes the cover performance of the song School. | Source

Archetype May Be a Better Album Than Digimortal

Speaking of which, the next song Bonescraper lyrically continues on this same theme but is mankind really dead? It is up to humans as a race to be able to use their free will for the good of mankind if they ever can. Human Shields is a song that is slightly different in terms of how it starts than we have been used to hearing from Fear Factory. It stats out soft, builds up, goes back to being soft and so on. Overall, even though Archetype is a sort of experimental industrial album in a sense, it may be slightly better than Digimortal.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian


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