Local Wire

Fear Factory @ The Clubhouse

The 20-year history of metal mainstay Fear Factory features more bickering, backstabbing, and fickle side-switching than an entire season of Flavor of Love. Following the band's poorly received Digimortal disc in 2001, founding guitarist Dino Cazares jumped ship — ostensibly because the album's more radio-friendly sound offended his hardcoredness. No problem: Then-bassist Christian Olde Wolbers simply slid over to lead guitar, with newcomer Byron Stroud replacing Wolbers on the ax. The band released two albums — Archetype and Transgression — with the retooled lineup before going on hiatus to pursue personal projects. Then, in 2009, lead singer Burton C. Bell reconciled with Cazares, secretly reforming Fear Factory without Wolbers or founding drummer Raymond Herrera, who maintain that they still own half of the Fear Factory trademark. Thus, they loudly maintain that the new Fear Factory is more like a zombie Fear Factory with cold, dead eyes and a less-than-kick-ass rhythm section. Whew! It's all so drama-y. One can only wonder what Wolbers and Herrera did to earn their banishment — got caught listening to Coldplay, maybe? Bell has remained tight-lipped on the subject as he and Fear Factory v.3 tour in support of the band's new Mechanize long-play.

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Craig Outhier