|Released August 25, 1992|
Producer Colin Richardson
|Recorded May 1992|
|Genre Extreme metal industrial metal|
Soul of a New Machine is the debut studio album by American heavy metal band Fear Factory, released on August 25, 1992 by Roadrunner Records. Although this record was Fear Factory's first studio album to be released, it was actually their second album to be recorded, after Concrete, which was recorded in 1991 but not released until 11 years later. The album was remastered and re-released on October 5, 2004 in a digipak, packaged together with the remastered Fear Is the Mindkiller EP.
Guitarist Dino Cazares has stated that this album is a concept album, concerning man's creation of a machine that could be either technological or governmental. It was also confirmed by bassist Christian Olde Wolbers in an interview. The particular concept would later play a more prominent role in some of Fear Factory albums.
The sound of the record is different from the later albums, as it was influenced by many different extreme sub-genres of metal, such as death metal, thrash metal and grindcore, hence making the band an "anomaly" since it did not fit into any genre category at that time. The sound was also heavily influenced by Napalm Death and Godflesh. Many feel this album is ground breaking as this is the first album to mix death growls with clean vocals.
The record featured a different conceptual style from Fear Factory's later works. "Martyr" is about how Burton C. Bell was "bored with his lifestyle"; "Leechmaster" and "Manipulation" are about relationship troubles; "Scapegoat" was based on how Cazares was once wrongfully accused by the law; "Crisis" is an anti-war song; "Crash Test" concerns animal testing and "Suffer Age" is based on serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The other songs contain different themes. Samples from the movies Full Metal Jacket, Blade Runner, and Apocalypse Now are heard sporadically throughout the album.
Then-bassist Andrew Shives only played live with the group; the bass tracks on the album were performed by Dino Cazares (though Shives was credited as the band's bassist on the album). In 1993 Fear Factory released a 7" single under their Spanish name Factorio De Miedo called Sangre De Ninos. This is the only material that was ever recorded in a studio with Andrew Shives on bass. He was forced to leave the band due to some internal disputes and was replaced by Christian Olde Wolbers in December 1993.
Professional wrestler Jerry Lynn used the song "Scapegoat" as his theme music during his time in Extreme Championship Wrestling. "Big God/Raped Souls" was used in The Crow: City of Angels.
AllMusic's Jason Birchmeier gave the album three stars out of five, remarking that "Fear Factory were quite ahead of their time in 1992". The critic also noted the diversity of the genres featured in the recording, saying that "Soul of a New Machine was so groundbreaking because it [fused] together some of the best aspects of numerous metal subgenres", which "[resulted] in a unique sound".
All lyrics written by Burton C. Bell except where noted; all music composed by Dino Cazares and Raymond Herrera.