Title: City Of Fire
Artist: City Of Fire
Label: Stomp Records (Australia/New Zealand)
Released: 9 April 2010 (Available since 2 October 2009 on iTunes in Canada, the US and Europe)
In one word: Uninspiring
Okay, I’m sure that by now I should have completely given up on Fear Factory and any of its side-projects. But damn it, their early albums were so GOOD! Alas, the last few albums have failed to inspire me much (indeed, I haven’t even “gotten around” to listening to their latest, Mechanize, yet), but still: One can live in hope?!
In any case, the band we’re gathered here today to scrutinise is City Of Fire, a new band featuring long-time FF vocalist Burton C. Bell, and bassist Byron Stroud, who joined FF well…about the time that their albums started losing my interest. According to official press releases, City Of Fire “boasts a more adult oriented sensibility” and “a sound reflective of the evolving maturity of its members and audience”. And while this album isn’t anywhere near as BAD as that makes it all sound, this is indeed one of those God-awful moments when one realises that one’s youthful musical heroes have indeed – Lord forbid! – GROWN UP!! (SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!)
Okay, so I’m being harsh. This album isn’t that bad at all. Sure, the liberal doses of acoustic guitar and more “mellow” soundscapes leave an old-school Fear Factory lover like myself stifling a cynical yawn, but on the whole this is perfectly listenable, if uninspiring, stuff. Maybe I should be fair, and listen to Mechanize before giving up on the Fear Factory camp altogether, yet somehow, I just haven’t mustered up the courage yet.
© Michael Bowser, Music Vice