2001 will be remembered by me as the year when two of my favourite bands decided to suck the nu-metal penis in the hope it gets them some extra money. Machine Head did so with "Supercharger" (or $up£rcharg£r as I like to call it) and Fear Factory did so with this. Mind, it's argued by both bands that Roadrunner Records made them do it as both bands missed sales projections with their previous releases (Machine Head - The Burning Red, Fear Factory - Obsolete) and were then told to write songs that were a bit more commercial. And buy, did they fucking do that. I guess that's what happens when you're in the music business and also the reason that not a single death metal band has had a platinum-rated album. All the same, it leaves a very bitter taste in the mouths of some purists. Especially me. But what do I know?
This album is marketed as the sequel to 'Obsolete' and as another concept album. Whether that's the main intention or not, I don't know. It doesn't contain a screenplay like the last one, mind you. The general theme for this one is thus: Man and Machine are continuing their fight against each other but they've both realised something - they essentially cannot live without the other, so instead they ponder merging together. 'Digimortal' is actually short for 'Digital Mortality'. Do they manage to do this and live as one glorious whole?
Fucked if I know. And to be honest, I don't give a fuck.
Whilst this album isn't the worst in the Fear Factory discography (That honour goes to 'Transgression'), it's crap. First off - the production. It's all pro-tools bells and whistles, ear-candy. Gives the slight impression that it's trying to replicate the sound of a DJ (A common member of a nu-metal band). The riffs contain some Cazares magic (This is the last album with him until "Mechanize" in 2010) but are mainly of the moronic "one string one finger" doo doo doo-doo doo, doo doo doo-doo doo JUMPDAFUCKUP variety. It's a big step-back for a band that built their foundation on some (quite frankly) awesome rhythm playing in the past. Burton C. Bell sounds bored as well, his vocals lacking any energy whatsoever. They lyrics are pretty poor too. But then again, Fear Factory were never known for any great lyrical genius. However, the worst lyrics are reserved for the song "Back The Fuck Up" which is the token rap song. This one features a rap by Cypress Hill frontman B-Real but that doesn't mean it's any good. Sure, the presence of a proper rapper adds a weight of credibility but it doesn't make it any better.
There are a couple of good songs on here ("Digimortal", "Acres Of Skin") but overall, there are as many high points on this album as there are in Holland. I wouldn't recommend this at all.
3 - Not for everyone but played well.
This album is on iTunes.