Fear Factory Concrete

With news of the break-up of industrial metal magnates Fear Factory came the rediscovery of the band's little-known first studio album Concrete. It was this muddily recorded platter that eventually got the group signed to Roadrunner, but the album was shelved indefinitely because of producer Ross Robinson's greed. Thankfully, eight of Concrete's 16 tracks were re-recorded for FF's official 1992 debut, Soul Of A New Machine, and it's these songs that are the most noteworthy here in their infancy. On "Big God/Raped Souls" and "Self Immolation," front-man Burton C. Bell was just beginning to incorporate his clean vocals alongside his death-y growls, a template that would later be covered by almost every nu metal band around. "Crisis" and "Suffer Age" retain their primal Godflesh-like sheen, while "Piss Christ" (an entirely different song than the one on 1995's Demanufacture) has a definite Napalm Death gravity about it. Others eventually morphed into new tunes: "Concrete" and "Soulwomb" became bonus tracks "Concreto" and "Soulwound," for Demanufacture and 1998's Obsolete, respectively, and parts of "Echoes Of Innocence" were salvaged for "A Therapy For Pain," from Demanufacture. The exclusive "Sangre De Niños" could've been an idea for guitarist Dino Cazares' pet project Brujeria and "Deception" and "Anxiety" display the incredible chops (no click tracks here!) of drummer Raymond Herrera, then in high school. A must-have for true fans, Concrete also ponders the idea that if Robinson would've stayed this aggressive course, there might not be any Korns or Limp Bizkits today. (Roadrunner)