THE MACHINES ARE AFTER US. Technology is our enemy. Or to quote Burton C Bell, lead singer with LA-based cyber-metallists Fear Factory, in his sleevenotes: “Man has created these machines to make life easier but in the long run it made him obsolete. The machines he created are now destroying him. Man is not the primary citizen of the earth.”
Yes, that’s right. Someone’s watched [I]Terminator 2 [/I]one too many times and has decided to make a concept album about it and that’s ‘Obsolete’ in a nutshell: ten songs about such jolly metal pals as ‘Edgecrusher’, ‘Securitron’ and – lest we forget – the loveable ‘Smasher/Devourer’, and their plans to annihilate mankind.
Behind this jovial racket, which sounds like someone shoving a road drill up a lion’s arse, it’s hard to divine Fear Factory’s attitude to this forthcoming techno-apocalypse. Sometimes they seem resigned to humanity’s fate, like on the relatively wistful ‘Descent’, and happy to sit on the sidelines muttering, ‘Told you so’ as the massed ranks of vacuum cleaners and pop-up toasters obliterate all carbon-based life; but there’s the equally nagging feeling that they’re looking forward to being enslaved and working as lackeys for, who knows, the Teasmaid that will cast its imperial shadow over the Earth.
Either way, ‘Obsolete’ is undoubtedly preposterous, humourless rubbish which is pompous enough to be boring but never manic enough to be funny, which with concept albums is generally the best you can hope for. Anyway, must stop. The kettle is coming to kill me. Tell my wife I love h… aargh… $$%*…