Obsolete (digipack)

Artist: Fear Factory

Year: 1999

Genre: Rock

Sub-Genre: Metal

Notable Songs: Edgecrusher, Obsolete, Resurrection

01 - Shock (4:58)
02 - Edgecrusher (3:39)
03 - Smasher/Devourer (5:35)
04 - Securitron {Police State 2000} (5:47)
05 - Descent (4:37)
06 - Hi-Tech Hate (4:34)
07 - Freedom or Fire (5:11)
08 - Obsolete (3:52)
09 - Resurrection (6:35)
10 - Timelessness (4:09)
11 - Cars (3:38)
12 - 0-0 (Where Evil Dwells) (5:16)
13 - Soulwound (3:53)
14 - Messiah (3:33)
15 - Concreto (3:35)

Enhanced: Nope

Cover Art/Booklet: The digipack version has more rendered 3D teeth and stuff. The case is heavy paper and the original booklet is stuck inside it. The booklet is cool because it has a whole screenplay to go along with the album. Every song corresponds with a scene in a post-apocalyptic war where the machines have taken over. The screen play is well written and has a good plot, conflict and hope of a resolution put in a small amount of space.

    There are two Obsolete Fear Factory albums out. The original and a digipack. As I found out recently, there is a Demanufacture one as well. The new digipack has a cool new cover/case and 5 additional songs, including Cars, which you may have heard on the radio. There is no difference in price between the original and the souped up version, so if you plan on getting this album make sure you get the digipack.

That said, we can talk about the music. With every Fear Factory album, they get better and more skilled at what they do. Their first, Soul of New Machine, was mostly a pure metal CD. Demanufacture started getting techno and added some melody to the mix, providing a much greater achievement and result. Now with their third official album, the talent has increased, the skill has increased and they spread the music over a wide spectrum of musical types.

The album starts out with yelling and thrashing guitars and continues this for the next few songs. It helps to read the booklet before and after to get the theme and mood. In the screenplay, there is an world where machines have taken over. The begining the premise is stated and corresponds to the Song 'Shock'. One man has the will to live free from the oppression; this is the 'Edgecrusher'. Once his is reported missing, and large machine bounty hunter is sent after him called the 'Smasher/Devourer'. The next song 'Securitron {Police State 2000}' follows the edgecrusher's journey trying to escape the watchful eyes of the Police State. He tries to find reason to even go on fighting. He grows tired and begins a 'Descent' into the night. The story changes to a center where the machines and the people who work with them reside. 'Hi-Tech Hate' plays which is simply about the hi-tech machines ability to not care. Outside the building people are protesting, and the enforcers attack, rounding them up for punishment. One man decides that he will no longer be a part of this and pouring gasoline one himeself, he makes the choice between 'Freedom or Fire'. Once the flames subside, the microphone once used to protest is picked up by an enforcer and used to further oppress the people, and make it clear that they are now 'Obsolete'. The edgecrusher witnesses the event and wanders into an abandoned church. No one know what this is anymore, but the sight renews his hope. At this point the music becomes more upbeat and violins start to play in the background. The edgecrusher has a similar 'Resurrection' and goes out to continue his battle. His final reflection of what happens is expressed in 'Timelessness', a violin and string based song which is a mixture of hope and sadness.

I ended up writing a buit more than I expected, but that's how the album goes. The transistion between the hard metal and softer songs happens not abruptly, but during the course of one song. This is not the best CD to listen to for just a few songs; the entire CD must be listened to as a whole for the full effect.

Bottom Line: My favorite offical Fear Factory album (the Remanuacture remix CD being my favorite of any FF album), with a theme, and plot no less. The arrangement of songs rivals Ænima by Tool, and the bonus tracks make it even more worth your while.

  • CDNOW.com Listing