Music » Livewire

Fear Factory

With Mastodon, Sworn Enemy, and Walls of Jericho. Friday, August 6, at the Odeon.

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Few bands walk the genre tightrope in the manner that Fear Factory has done. Combining death-metal intensity, industrial precision, and vocals that can actually be deciphered, Fear Factory struck chords with headbangers and the technology-obsessed alike.

One has only to look at the band's more notable moments -- Demanufacture's fury, Fear Is the Mindkiller's remixed mechanics, and now (in many fans' eyes) a return to form on Archetype. Since the departure of guitarist Dino Cazares, former bassist Christian Olde Wolbers has handled guitar duties adeptly, and Byron Stroud (Strapping Young Lad) now wreaks havoc on the four-string. Starting with "Slave Labor" and the dynamic "Bite the Hand That Bleeds," Fear Factory delivers blasts of percussion, traumatic riffs, and pulsating electronics. But a band is only as good as its gigs, and these guys onstage have a jackhammer effect on their audiences.

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