Real name: Burton Bell, Raymond Herrera, Christian Olde Wolbers
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Fear Factory is a Los Angeles, California based metal band. They formed in 1990 and have since released seven full-length albums and a number of singles and remixes, over the course of which they have evolved from a succession of, as well as steadily pioneered a hybrid of, the styles of death metal, industrial metal, groove metal and alternative metal; the resultant techniques in sound and vocal styles proving to be enormously influential on the extreme metal scene from the mid-90s and onwards. Fear Factory is also notable among metal bands for their heavy use of science fiction elements in their songs and concept albums. Their most recent album, Transgression, described as a more experimental and atypical effort, has also contained elements of pop music and progressive metal.
They started out under the name Ulceration, apparently picked for no real reason other than that Burton C. Bell and/or other members thought it would "just be a cool name" for the band, but they subsequently shifted to Fear Factory in 1990; the new moniker being more reflective of their burgeoning new death metal sound, influenced just as much by early British industrial metal, industrial music and grindcore as much as it continued to remain firmly rooted in a conservative extreme metal approach; a facet of their music that eventually saw the band’s appeal spread out over a wider music audience.
Digimortal made the Top 40 on the Billboard album charts, the Top 20 in Canada and the Top 10 of the Australian album charts. "Linchpin" off the album again reached the Mainstream Rock Top 40.
A remix of the song "Invisible Wounds" was included on the Resident Evil film soundtrack, and an instrumental digipak bonus track called "Full Metal Contact" was originally written for the video game, Demolition Racer.
A VHS/DVD release called Digital Connectivity was released soon after, in January 2002, which documents each of the four album periods of the band via interviews, live clips, music videos and tour/studio footage. The video is not generally seen as exceptionally well put together.
During his time away from Fear Factory, Bell started his side project along with John Bechdel, called Ascension of the Watchers, who released their first EP, Iconoclast, independently via their online store in 2005.
To the surprise of many fans, Fear Factory soon revealed plans to subsequently record and release their next full-length album over a very short period of time with mainstream rock producer Toby Wright (normally known to work with bands such as Korn and Alice in Chains). This was allegedly due to pressure from their new label, Calvin Records, who pulled back the album’s due date from four months away to just a month and a half, in order that the band would have a completed new album to support on the inaugural Gigantour, which they had been invited to participate on by Dave Mustaine.
In the Soul of a New Machine re-release, Machine Head vocalist Robert Flynn, Chimaira vocalist Mark Hunter and Spineshank guitarist Mike Sarkisyan have cited Fear Factory as an influence in the liner notes. Robert Flynn stated his vocal style was influenced by Burton Bell's vocals and that Machine Head have been wrongly credited for the vocal style. Mark Hunter stated that Chimaira's drumming was heavily influenced by Raymond Herrera.