Aggression Continuum

Fear Factory

Aggression Continuum

It’s been a long journey for Fear Factory’s 10th album. Though it was initially completed in 2017, guitarist and founder Dino Cazares endured lawsuits from former band members and set up a crowdsourcing fund to put his industrial-metal hellscape through a complete remix and have the original drum machine tracks rerecorded by live drummer Mike Heller. But the biggest blow was the departure of longtime singer Burton C. Bell, who recorded vocals for Aggression Continuum before leaving the band in 2020. “The record was almost called Continuum, but I felt it needed another word to really express what it was,” Cazares tells Apple Music. “So, the Aggression part is really just a description of the kind of music we play, how we felt on this record, and the struggle we went through to get it out.” Below, Cazares discusses each track on this semi-concept album.
“Recode” “We worked on this song with a guy called Igor Khoroshev. He was in the band Yes, and he also produced Burt’s vocals. He’s an amazing keyboardist and composer, and he wrote this amazing orchestral piece that really elevated the song and made it more epic. The intro is based on Terminator Salvation, where Christian Bale is talking to the resistance. In our version, it’s about all the struggles we had putting this out. But the song is basically about AI capturing humans and extracting their memories and dreams and transferring them to automatons so they’ll think they’re human.”
“Disruptor” “This is the album’s first single. In the video, you have these four individuals that are trying to hack into a mainframe to disrupt a signal from the spaceship you see in the sky, which is sending drones to capture humans and extract their memories. If they disrupt the signal, the drones will be confused and will either fall out of the sky or will be flying aimlessly. It was partly inspired, again, by Terminator Salvation but also an episode of Black Mirror called ‘Metalhead’ that has dog drones chasing people.”
“Aggression Continuum” “This has dialogue of a human talking to an automaton, and he’s trying to tell the automaton that he’s not human, that he’s here to inflict death. But the automaton keeps insisting he’s human. That’s pretty much what the song deals with throughout: the battle between humans and AI.”
“Purity” “The chorus says, ‘I am one of you/Take me as I am.’ That’s the automaton still insisting that it’s human, but this one is from the perspective of the automaton.”
“Fuel Injected Suicide Machine” “This song is the second single, and it’s one where we kind of go off the path of the main story. It’s based on the character of the Nightrider in the first Mad Max movie that came out in 1979. That was before the first Terminator, so that was the first time I saw a dystopian movie like that. The Nightrider is this guy who lives and dies by the hotrod engine, and he’s just plowing through everything in his path. In one scene, he says, ‘I am the Nightrider, a fuel-injected suicide machine.’”
“Collapse” “This one ties into ‘Disruptor,’ where they’re trying to hack into the mainframe. It’s basically saying that the system is collapsing because it’s being disrupted. The intro is from First Blood, the first Rambo movie, where the sheriff is telling everyone to stay in their houses because he thinks Rambo is gonna start killing people.”
“Manufactured Hope” “This is more about what was going on politically when it was written back in 2016 and 2017—which was a lot of lies, basically. The song says, ‘No more will I be a victim/I will take a stand.’ Of course, those years were different than right now, but this song represents that moment. You could also say that this type of political climate—manufactured hope—kind of set the stage for the story of the album.”
“Cognitive Dissonance” “‘Cognitive Dissonance’ is about the disparity between people’s beliefs and their behavior. It’s about people behaving in ways that are not aligned with their personal values. It may result in intense feelings of discomfort. This is another one that was more about the time period it was written in.”
“Monolith” “To tell you the truth, I never really understood this song. I wanna say that it’s about worshipping something massive, but I didn’t contribute any lyrics to this one.”
“End of Line” “It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s the end of the battle that’s going on in the story, but I believe Burt was also trying to say that he was out. At the end of the song, there’s the ‘fear is the mind-killer’ speech from Dune, which I decided to put in there to let people know that once the fear is gone, only I remain—meaning I’m the last one standing, and I’ll continue Fear Factory.”

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10