As part of their UK visit for Download Festival tomorrow¸ LA’s industrial metal titans return to the Underworld for the first time in 17 years tonight to play a very special one-off show to a jam-packed sold out venue¸ which is positively overflowing with furious anticipation. In light of Fear Factory’s successful resurgence in recent years¸ catching them in such an intimate environment is a rare treat¸ and there is a shared but unspoken feeling amongst the assembled masses in the building this evening that we’re about to witness something a little bit special. After a couple of intensely mediocre performances from Hang The Bastard and October File¸ the house lights dim and Fear Factory take to the stage and are met with rapturous applause and hysteric screaming.

Wasting no time in launching into the bludgeoning 'Shock' and 'Edgecrusher'¸ the Underworld is whipped into a frenzy of flailing bodies and a tsunami of windmilling hair. 'Acres of Skin' and 'Linchpin' follow soon after¸ which have everyone in the room going suitably nuts. The quartet are in fine form tonight¸ Burton C. Bell unleashing the fury with his signature blends of brutal growls and soaring clean choruses whilst man-mountain Dino Cazares churns out riff after riff of rhythmic mastery with terrifying tightness. After smashing out a triple helping from 'Mechanize'¸ we witness the live premier of the title track from Fear Factory’s newest release 'The Industrialist'¸ before the album’s punishing lead¸ 'Recharger'. After the relentless assault on our vertebrae¸ Burton assures us that tonight will be far better than tomorrow at Download¸ before a plug for The Industrialist turns into an impromptu micro-jam on The Kink’s classic 'You Really Got Me'.

In wake of the legendary Gene Hoglan’s departure¸ Mike Heller has been recruited to provide live drums on this tour. A solid-yet-reserved performance tonight from Heller gets the job done – whilst his playing is not to be messed with¸ the live energy and performance ‘X-factor’ which Gene brought to the table is notably absent tonight. A sonically impressive yet somewhat stale performance from Heller is contrasted by a fantastic showing from Matt DeVries tonight¸ handling bass after being drafted across from Chimaira. DeVries does a great job of gluing together the precise picking of Cazares and Heller’s thundering kicks as Fear Factory proceed to hammer any faces still left intact among the audience tonight¸ with classic tune after classic tune¸ including 'Demanufacture'¸ 'Self-Bias Resistor' and 'Zero Signal'. The final blow of 'Replica' is dealt with ruthless precision¸ before we hobble out of the Underworld with bodies beaten¸ voices destroyed¸ necks written-off but¸ crucially¸ faces manically grinning.

In one word¸ tonight has been epic.

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