Very few bands ever live up to their name quite like Fear Factory. Even with just two original members left in the band, Fear Factory continue to deliver album after album of metal honed with a cold, mechanical precision, creating a sound for themselves that isn't merely processed, but machined. Fittingly, their eighth album, The Industrialist, is a concept album that follows the story of a "free-thinking automaton" who, upon observing the discord and oppression in the world around it, turns against a mankind that has slowly destroyed a world it was created to make better. Though the concept feels ripped from the pages of dystopian pulp sci-fi, what's ultimately important is the music itself, which continues to find the band enjoying a brutal resurgence after the return of Dino Cazares. Much like their last album, The Industrialist is at its best when it's at its most punishing. Pummeling tracks like "Recharger" and "Depraved Mind Murder" feel like Cazares and Burton C. Bell are scientists perfecting some kind of ear-destroying technology while the rest of the scientific community calls them mad. While it's certainly good news for Fear Factory fans that the band seems to have found its groove again, this also feels a bit like a weakness in the album. Unlike the machines that the record is about, Fear Factory don't really evolve as much as they constantly refine and retool, so while anyone hoping for more of the same old Fear Factory will find a lot to love about The Industrialist, those who have been hoping for something different might find that the album isn't quite what they were looking for.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney