Fear Factory Transgression

After the offensively sleepwalked performance of Archetype — Fear Factory’s comeback album — all hope was lost as far as I was concerned. Fear Factory fanatics would disagree, but come on: that was one cheesy album. With Transgression, Fear Factory have at least attempted a few different things. Some different guitar sounds and deviations from the usual chugging industrial/nu/teeny metal help keep me interested, and I must say the seven-minute pseudo-ballad "Echo of My Scream” isn’t half-bad. Said song and one other feature ex-Faith No More bassist Billy Gould, not that anyone could tell. The melodic edge of "Supernova” is also refreshing, but those clean vocals just do not sound good, let’s admit it. Lamb of God’s Mark Morton shows up for a guest appearance too, but at the end of the album neither that nor the occasional moment of originality can save Transgression from being just that: another Fear Factory album sticking a bit too close to a formula that lost its relevancy once the teen years left us. It’s their best album in a while, but that’s not saying much. (Universal)