Fear Factory

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

“Fuck you asshole!”
- Arnold Schwarzenegger (T-800)

The other continent (more precisely USA and Canada) had made an unholy alliance, and sent their two premium war-machines to lay Europe at their feet.
Or to put it in other words, Fear Factory and Devin Townsend Project had made a double headliner tour called the Epic Industrialist Tour, to promote the two bands new albums. Fear Factory’s was of course The Industrialist from June this year, and they were the first of the two to hit the stage at Amager Bio.

So far the room wasn’t very filled, which I found odd. Sure, there were people everywhere on the floor, but they were loosely packed, with a lot of individual space in between them. Oh, what the heck, easier for me to reach the front row, and more would surely come filling in soon enough when the show began I figured.
The first thing that announced the show was, except for a rather stripped stage with an enormous Industrialist FF face overlooking things from the backdrop, was a sound clip from the first Terminator film, and already there my fanboy sense was going wild! It quickly moved over into the speech that opens the new album, during which first the two (still) new guys, Matt DeVries and Mike Heller, entered without attracting much attention, and then were followed by Dino Cazares and Burton C. Bell, who were accompanied by a nice round of applause and shouts. Keeping the speed of things going, the band dived directly into the opening, and at the same time title track of their new album, and thus the show was off to an aggressive start with a classic Fear Factory opener.

I’ll admit that The Industrialist didn’t resonate as well with me in the beginning as their 2010 effort, Mechanize, did, but it has certainly grown with further spins and now fits nicely into the bands long running discography. I say long running because, as Bell himself mentioned at the concert, this year didn’t just mark the year of a new Fear Factory album, but also the 20th anniversary of their debut, Soul Of A New Machine, and judging from earlier setlists from this tour (which my curiosity had forced me to check out prior to the gig) would give us a large array of both classics and less played material from these two albums in addition to their usually played tracks. This fit me well, and I was ready to take long hard trip down memory lane with the industrial quartet.
After the opener, it was time for some older material as we were treated to a triple round from the Obsolete era with Shock, Edgecrusher and Smasher/Devourer. Here something surprising struck me; even though the band was going at it hard and intensely, the crowd seemed rather indifferent except for some shouts and applause between songs. Headbanging was confined to a small group in the front, and Edgecrusher which has always incited a large scale jumping session in the crowd did nothing of the sort this evening. It was as if the bulk of the crowd wasn’t even familiar with the band and their material...

“There are two reasons for us to be here tonight; we have a new album out, and because of all you beautiful people!”
- Burton C. Bell (vocals)

Even though the crowd wasn’t showing much interest in the band, it didn’t stop the members of Fear Factory showing their love for us. Reminiscing back, Bell not only told us about the Soul Of A New Machine release, but also that the just finished Halloween had seen the 26th birthday of the band, and he even remembered their first gig in Copenhagen. It was apparently 19 years ago, at a vegan club called Eat The Rich, news to me as it was before my time, and given the lacking response it didn’t exactly seem like many others of tonight’s crowd had been their either.
It didn’t stop the band from carrying on in high spirits though, and next up was a question as to how many had bought the new album; I think I counted about seven raised arms, but even with what I would have figured a discouraging number, Bell still thanked us for our support with a large smile on his face. The fact that the next track, Recharger from said album, was the first one to get a moshpit going showed that there was still hope though. The moshpit kept the energy going for the rest of the concert which ended on a high note with a quadruple attack from the breakthrough album Demanufacture.

I wasn’t surprised that Fear Factory only played songs from the albums that Cazares has been part of, but I was surprised to hear that they apparently completely neglect them from their history as a band! You see, before playing the song Demanufacture, which was the first of the four from the album, Bell said that at this point there was only one album which they hadn’t played anything from, disregarding the fact that they had visited neither Archetype nor Transgression either...
With 12 songs played, we did get a good look into the band though even if they had excluded many of the newest and oldest songs that they had played at earlier concerts. Strangely, the show also felt very short to me, and it wasn’t even because things had been rushed through, as both Bell and Cazares had been far more talkative than usual. Fair enough, the fact that Bell kept pointing to the backdrop as he tried to imprint us with the band’s name felt a bit silly to say the least when it comes to a band with as large and long-running history as Fear Factory has, but to be honest, as good as it was, this did have a distinct support show feeling over it, rather than the co-headlining idea that we had been pitched...

Even so, I loved every minute of the concert. The band was clearly in a great mood, and even though Bell’s vocals were worse than they have been for a long time, the band brought a positive spirit with them that wasn’t to be overlooked. I was glad to see that DeVries and Heller took on a more active role than they had done the last time I saw them, and love it or hate it, the whole thing certainly deserved a far better response than it got from a crowd that was clearly only interested in the Devin Townsend Project.
Oh, and I also have to mention that I, after the show, came upon a t-shirt in the merch stand sporting the Fear Factory logo on top, the lovely image of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first role as the Terminator filling the front, and the line “Fuck you, asshole” on the back. My fanboy senses went completely haywire and I was knocked of my feet of the pure awesomeness of what hung before my eyes!


The Industrialist
Self Bias Resistor
Zero Signal

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