Concert Review: Fear Factory at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT
The war between man and machine is inevitable. Luckily, we have Fear Factory standing between us and extinction. Their World Industrialist Tour hit the Webster Theater with some very talented supporting bands, and the legendary mechanized metallers were ready for action despite the surprisingly sparse crowd.
Kobra and the Lotus opened up in fine form. Frontwoman Kobra Paige’s vocals were a Peschian complement to the band’s expert channeling of classic power metal with a modern twist. Paige’s impressive voice really hit the back walls, and it’s a damned shame more people hadn’t shown up yet to see this band kick some ass.
Next on the docket was Hate Eternal, and Erik Rutan and company wasted no time in bringing the brutality. With barely a pause between songs, Hate Eternal’s signature riffs and pummeling drums made this power trio sound like a legion of pissed-off demons. That got the folks in the front row headbanging for sure.
At last, Fear Factory. Opening with the killer title track off their latest album The Industrialist, the band then mined their back catalog by launching into crowdpleasers like “Shock” and “Edgecrusher” from 1998’s Obselete (a record unfairly lumped in with all of the nu-metal garbage that was coming out at the time). Turning back the clock even further, we heard “Martyr” and “Leechmaster,” which sound just as crushing now as they did over twenty years ago.
Burton C. Bell’s skills at balancing clean vocals and growls were matched by Dino Cazares’ machine-gun riffs and searing solos. The Fear Factory rhythm section – bassist Matt DeVries and drummer Mike Heller – is new to the band; Bell and Cazares are the only original members left, but everything still sounded like classic Fear Factory, as it should.
Just about every Fear Factory album was represented during the set, including the highly influential Demanufacture. Plenty of newer material peppered their performance, to be sure, like “Fear Campaign” and “Recharger.” Fear Factory wrapped things up with “Replica,” another fan favorite.
Fear Factory hasn’t lost their edge in over two decades. They’ve really staged a massive comeback over the past few years, and I can’t fathom why the venue wasn’t packed; only a few hundred people showed up. So what if it was the middle of the week? Hey, I had to go to work the next day, too. What was your excuse? Anyway, the World Industrialist Tour rages on, and you’d be wise not to miss it. All three bands represent different metal styles, so you’re really getting your money’s worth. Buy a ticket soon…otherwise, the machines are coming for you.
Check out all of Fear Factory’s upcoming tour dates here.