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Fear Factory and Soilwork - Hollywood, CA

By Newsferatu, Writer
Friday, December 9, 2005 @ 11:09 PM


At the House of Blues

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By: Boz

Metal. That's all this show was about. Pure, full-on, aggressive METAL! On Wednesday, November 30, Fear Factory rolled into the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip for a night of headbanging, moshing and fist pumping. And they brought some friends with them.

Due to my work schedule I did not get to see Swedish openers Darkane or the popular quartet from Vancouver, Strapping Young Lad, so I will leave it to another dedicated hesher to tell you about their sets.

I did however get a chance to catch fellow Swedes Soilwork do their thing. These guys were fantastic. Lots of energy, nice and loud and they sounded great. Lead singer, Bjorn Strid never ceases to amaze me with how well he hits those harmonies live. Ola Fink is a dancing machine on the bass. And the duel guitar work of Peter Wichers and Ola Frenning was amazing as they both soloed with the fury of the Tazmanian Devil.

To promote their new album, they played quite a few songs off "Stabbing the Drama". They opened with the title track, played their first single "Nerve" and also "Weapon of Vanity". They also played old favorites like "Figure Number Five", "Follow the Hollow" and "Rejection Role". But the real surprise was these boys pulling out all the stops and playing the title track to 2000's "Chainheart Machine".

All and all these guys were awesome and they were just the appetizer.

Not long after Soilwork's last note, the curtain opened to reveal Los Angeles' own, Fear Factory. Singer Burton C. Bell was prowling the stage. Guitarist Christian Olde Wolbers never stopped headbanging. Drummer Raymond Herrera was blasting through every beat. And newest member, bassist Byron Stroud, was a perfect fit.

The band sounded great and as they celebrated their "15 years of Fear", they rolled through all of their albums. They opened with two new songs off their latest effort. "540,000 Degrees Fahrenheit" and "Transgression" did not exactly get the crowd going. Maybe the crowd was stunned by the pure ferocity of the group, maybe they we re tired from the openers or maybe they just were not that into the new album. My money is on the latter. So the show opened in a disappointing fashion. BUT, that was the only disappointment.

Next up was triple shot from 1995's "Demanufacture". This was really the beginning of the show. When the opening kick drum of the title track hit our ears, the place went ballistic. This mosh fest did not stop for the next two songs, "Self-bias Resistor" and "Zero Signal." "Slave Labor" from "Archetype" was next and it kept up the pace of the show. Next was a trio from "Obsolete". "Shock" and "Edgecrusher" were beastly as usual. But the real surprise was the inclusion of "Descent" into the mix. The band had not played this song in four years and it was a real crowd pleaser. Then came a double shot of "Digimortal". Poppy, jump song "Linchpin" and aggressive headbanger "Acres of Skin" both shook the house.

Keeping with the triple song format came three songs from their first album "Soul of a New Machine". "Big God/Raped Souls", "Martyr" and "Scumgrief" were all moshing favorites.

Then came the close of the set. "Cyberwaste" and "Archetype" were real crowd favorites. The boys were joined by Deftones guitarist Chino Moreno for "Archetype". Of course there was the closer "Replica" to keep things moving.

But then in showing of pure balls came the encore. The band left the stage after "Replica". Only Burton returned and he went into a soulful rendition of "Timelessness". It was beautiful and different but kind of left the crowd a little limp. We wanted one more punch in the face before the ride home. But that never happened.

All in all it was a great show. The boys seemed happy to be home and the crowd loved their show.

Metal on the Sunset Strip. It doesn't get much better than that.



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