Fear Factory Transgression

2004’s Archetype was a notable return to form and received with desperately open arms by Fear Factory’s surprisingly dedicated fan base after the abhorrent nu-metal of Digimortal. Unfortunately, barely a year after their supposed comeback, the group unveil their latest, and the overwhelming impression given upon one’s first experience with Transgression is rushed, rushed, rushed. Consisting of 11 tracks, two of which are inoffensive, yet inexplicable covers of U2 and Killing Joke, the disc’s narrative runs out of steam almost completely in the second half, and by the time closer "Moment Of Impact” momentarily rekindles the effect of the Fear Factory of old, the listener’s patience is spent and cries of "sell-out” will be once again heard far and wide. Transgression is not without its moments, mind you; in fact, the first half of the album is pretty solid. "Contagion,” while initially reeking of down-tuned, three-chord Korn-isms, quickly redeems itself with one of the more epic choruses the group have penned, and FF have semi-successfully incorporated a slightly thrashier breed of riffs into standouts like the title track and "Spinal Compression.” Toby Wright’s production is crushing, and Raymond Herrera’s inhuman kick drums have lost the clicky resonance that has often hindered their power in the past. When all is said and done, however, one should not have to make excuses for a band clearly capable of so much more. (Universal)