Fear Factory - Archetype

Bleakest Harvest

\m/Misanthropic Hippy\m/
Nov 11, 2001
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Fear Factory - Archetype
Roadrunner - RR83112 - 2004
By Paddy Walsh


Fear factory are back! After their dissolution following the rather dismal Digimortal, the band has finally returned to the fold, minus one Dino Cazares. Guitar duties are now carried out by bassist Christian Olde Wolbers. Thankfully vocalist Burton C. Bell and the human machinegun himself, Raymond Herrera, remain in the fold, with former Strapping Young Lad bassist Byron Stroud taking over on, erm, bass. But is Archetype a decent return or should they have remained in retirement?

Thankfully Archetype is decent. It is not mind-blowing by any means, nor does it come close to being their best, but it has its moments, and is easily superior to Digimortal. Gone are the godawful forays into nu-metal - and even rap - that plagued its predecessor, in favour of a more stripped down sound. At times it becomes obvious that the band are trying to herald a return to their Demanufacture days, such as on the pummelling 'Cyberwaste'. The soaring and frankly brilliant title-track echoes something we may have found on Obsolete, while tracks such as 'Bonscraper' serve to remind us of Fear Factory's metal roots. Burton puts in a great performance, at once blistering while carrying off the more subdued moments better than ever. Herrera as usual double-basses his way into oblivion, while Wolbers' guitar parts are convincing, if unspectacular.

Unfortunately, it's not perfect. The guitar sound could have been a little more 'in your face'; as it stands Archetype sounds slightly wimpier than its companions. Fear Factory, in a presumably enthusiastic wave of 'we're back and better than ever!' reasoning, perhaps overdid things a little. There are unfortunately a few too many filler tracks on Archetype, such as the by-the-numbers 'Drones', and I feel it definitely could have benefited with having the fat trimmed off it a little. However, Archetype is still a worthy Fear Factory album, and a step in the right direction for a band many thought had had its day.


Official Fear Factory website
Official Roadrunner Records websiote