Best Of but definitely not complete
Best Of compilations can often be hit and miss. They are a classic example of you can't please everybody when someone's favourite song is omitted etc. But the bottom line is that they serve a purpose and that is to represent a band's finest moments throughout a certain period of time. With The Best Of Fear Factory, and several other Best Of's that have just hit the stores, that tenure is their time signed to Roadrunner Records.
Fear Factory stormed onto the scene with 1992's Soul Of A New Machine. It was an impressive debut that still stands the test of time to this day. It's of no surprise however that crowd favourites Martyr and Scapegoat represent the album alongside the underrated Scumgrief. It's a reasonable (albeit predictable) showing of the band's more death meets industrial metal beginnings. Moving on to 1995 (and skipping any remix releases the band issued), the band's sophomore effort Demanufacture was unleashed, and since that time, it has often been described as the band's seminal work. It's of no surprise that the album's first four songs fly the flag for Demanufacture, including the title track, the crowd pleasing brutality of Self Bias Resistor and Zero Signal and the album's lead single Replica. The other half of the debate that rages as to which album is Fear Factory's best, is 1998's Obsolete. It's of no surprise that Shock, Edgecrusher and the promotional single Resurrection get a start here. However, the inclusion of the cover of Gary Numan's Cars I could almost flip-flop on. Sure, it was a single, but it is a cover song and is it really “best of” material? The band's final album with their first line-up (of vocalist Burton C. Bell, guitarist Dino Cazares, bassist Christian Olde Wolbers and drummer Raymond Herrera) was the dismal Digimortal and appropriately, it's only represented by the album's lead single, Linchpin.
Clocking in at less than 55 minutes, it should be said that whilst the tracks included on The Best Of Fear Factory are essential cuts as far as the band's Roadrunner Years are concerned. But realistically, there are some notable omissions. Why not make the collection even more complete by including Big God/Raped Souls (from Soul Of A New Machine), Pisschrist (from Demanufacture) and Obsolete (from Obsolete)? Why not put the video clips on there for the songs included that have promotional clips available? Like I said early on, Best Of's can be hit and miss and whilst this one does carry the cream of the crop, it would have been nice to have it fleshed out to utilise the full capacity of the CD medium. There's nothing here to entice die hard fans but at least there's a reasonable balance of material here for casual fans.
(Roadrunner Records/Universal Music Distribution)