Review by Adam on May 9, 2004.
For many fans, word about Fear Factory’s breakup was a bitter pill to swallow. Even more difficult to handle was the notion that Digimortal would be their swansong. Now not only have Fear Factory returned but they have returned gloriously. Archetype gets back to the core of what Fear Factory is all about.
One of the things that irritated me about Digimortal was how fake and manufactured it sounded especially with the drums. Archetype does away with this completely and offers their most organic offering since Soul of a New Machine. There was also a great deal of rap inspired vocals on Digimortal which thankfully have not found their way onto this one. Musically, Archetype combines the melody of Obsolete with the aggressiveness of Demanufacture easily making it their most dynamic album to date.
For me, the standout track is the melodic opus “Human Shields.” It is an incredibly atmospheric song that brilliantly showcases Burton Bell’s tremendous vocal talents. Tracks like “Cyberwaste” and “Bonescraper” on the other hand, are bound to be fan favorites due their stylistic hails to the band’s first two albums. Hearing Raymond Herrera blast again is truly music to my ears!
The title track is another standout. Lyrically, it is my guess that it has to deal with Dino’s dramatic exit from the band which caused the initial breakup. “The infection has been removed and the soul of this machine has improved,” screams Burton. Listening to Archetype it is obvious to see that not only can the band survive without Dino’s presence but continue to thrive as well. Fear Factory is back in full form and ready to reclaim metal glory.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.6 out of 10