Fear Factory’s story begins in 1989 when the original formation of the heavy metal band first rocked together out of Los Angeles, California. For the first year, the band was originally known as Ulceration but changed it when the band members at that time were inspired by an observation they made of an armed security team guarding a factory. The original lineup of Fear Factory was Dino Cazares, Raymond Herrera, Dave Gibney, and Burton C. Bell. Among the lineup, only founder Cazares still remains with the band today. Over the years, there were a number of lineup changes where Cazares did depart from the band in 2003 but returned in 2009 with a brand new lineup. The discographic portfolio of Fear Factory features the recording and release of ten studio albums, three compilation albums, five extended plays (EPs), a demo album, a remix album, and a video album. In total, there are twenty-one singles and fourteen music videos to the band’s credit.
On August 23, 2005, (Transgression) was released as Fear Factory’s sixth studio album. It mostly met with negative and mixed reviews by the critics with the majority of the agreement citing poor production value was the leading cause why this was the case. It was also the second album Fear Factory recorded without its founding member, Dino Cazares, and it would be the last for the band’s original drummer, Raymond Herrera. While one key positive change Transgression had in its favor was seeing guitar solos, the overall sound of the album seemed the least refined of all the material the band has ever produced. In 2016, Metal Hammer Magazine classified Transgression as Fear Factory’s worst album.
9. The Industrialist
(The Industrialist), after it was released on June 5, 2012, received mixed reviews by Fear Factory’s fans and critics between the four different editions of the band’s eighth studio album. While the band’s musical performance in the album was consistent, there wasn’t anything innovative about the material, something of which both the fans and music critics had hoped for. In sales, it has so far been Fear Factory’s least profitable album.
8. Soul of a New Machine
On August 25, 1992, Fear Factory released its debut studio album, (Soul of a New Machine), through the record label, Roadrunner. It was the first of four albums associated with the label, as well as the least successful. The critics from Rock Hard Magazine gave the album favorable reviews, as did Kerrang! and AllMusic, all of them recognizing Fear Factory were musical legends in the making. Originally, Soul of a New Machine was designed as a conceptual album that later defined the rest of Fear Factory’s material as the band continued to produce music over the years. The album’s third track, (Scapegoat), was used as the theme song for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) star, Jerry Lynn.
For the most part, when (Mechanize) was released on February 9, 2010, the album mostly received positive reviews from Fear Factory’s fans and critics. It was the band’s seventh studio album release, and the first since the return of founding member, Dino Cazares. There were three singles that were released from the album, starting with (Powershifter), then followed in sequence by (Fear Campaign), and (Final Exit). The single, Final Campaign, saw Fear Factory’s playstyle step out of the norm from their better-known material as it featured a guitar solo. Among the albums this band has released, despite the good ratings it received, it was among the slowest-selling. In the 1994 film, The Crow: City of Angels, the song, (Big God/Raped Souls), was among the songs included in the movie’s official soundtrack.
6. Aggression Continuum
Released on June 18, 2021, (Aggression Continuum) is Fear Factory’s tenth studio album, which produced the single (Disrupter). The single was regarded as the twelfth best metal song of the year by online magazine publication, Loudwire. In the UK, Aggression Continuum has become extremely popular as it was the second most popular, according to its Rock & Metal Albums chart.
(Archetype) was Fear Factory’s fifth studio album, as well as the first without founding member Dino Cazares. The single, (Bite the Hand that Bleeds) charted at number forty-seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was one of the songs used in the 2004 horror film, Saw. On the soundtrack of UFC: Beat Downs, Vol. 1, (Slave Labor) was included as one of its songs. Both the fans and the music critics favored the album, noting even without Cazares Fear Factory can still produce material that doesn’t sound forced, nor materialistic.
The brutal and abrasive album, (Genexus), was Fear Factory’s ninth release, which came out on August 7, 2015. In reviews made by music critics, it was highly favorable, where the group was recognized as still having enough star quality to bring forth good metal music. It was also considered the most melodic compared to the group’s previous work. Genexus was the final album featuring Burton C. Bell on lead vocals as he retired from the band in 2020. This left Dino Cazeras as the final original band member still with the group.
Fear Factory’s fourth studio album, (Digimortal), was released on April 24, 2001, and was received with favorable reviews by the group’s fans and music critics. (Linchpin) was the first of two singles from the album, but was the only one that earned chart success. On the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, Linchpin charted at number thirty-one and it was a number eighty-five hit on the UK Singles Chart. Commercially, Digimortal seemed to be a disappointment compared to Fear Factory’s second and third studio albums, but this was due to the band’s fans feeling put off about the music becoming too melodic and radio-friendly for their liking. Digimortal was the first album Fear Factory wanted to put more focus on refined music play as a personal preference as members of the band wanted to evolve their material. It was the final album founder Dino Cazeras recorded with the band as animosity between himself and fellow band members resulted in him taking an eight-year hiatus before he’d return in 2009.
(Demanufacture) was Fear Factory’s second studio album, which was released on June 13, 1995. In addition to becoming certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) of the UK and certified gold by Australia Recording Industry Association (ARIA), it also put forth the band’s first charted single. (Dog Day Sunrise) charted at number eighty-five on the UK Singles Chart. Among many of Fear Factory’s fans, Demanufacture is their personal favorite. The album’s entire storyline, played in industrial metal format, focused on mankind’s struggle against a machine-controlled government. Much of the album’s music has been featured in video games such as Test Drive 5, Mortal Kombat, and GameShark 2. Demanufacture was the second album in a row where many music critics cited Fear Factory as performers well ahead of the times where it was up to the rest of the music industry to catch up and follow.
Released as Fear Factory’s third studio album, (Obsolete) first became available for the public on July 28, 1998. Among the European and Oceania nations, the album performed remarkably well. In the US, this was no exception as Obsolete earned a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It also became certified gold by Australia’s ARIA. The album released five singles where three of them saw charting success. (Resurrection) appeared at number eighty-eight on the US Singles Chart, then it was (Descent), which charted at number thirty-eight on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. (Cars) was the most successfully charted single in Fear Factory’s career as it climbed as high as number sixteen on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart, and was a number thirty-eight hit on the US Billboard Alternative Airplay chart. In the UK, Cars charted at number fifty-seven. Gary Numan’s 1979 original hit single, Cars, was performed by Fear Factory in 1996 as part of an encore performance when the band was on its European tour. Upon learning about his song played in tours, Gary Numan requested to perform it with Burton C. Bell. In addition to turning Fear Factory’s version of Cars into a duet, Numan also performed a spoken narrative, by the band’s request, for the album, Obsolete.