A night of metal, from industrial to death to just plain heavy, is what I had in store for me on a Friday night at Revolution on Long Island, with Fear Factory being the main attraction, bringing myself and other metal fans, both new and old, together.
Revolution Bar & Music Hall is nestled near the south of the center of the town of Amityville, New York, and only a short walk away from the world famous “Amityville Horror House“. Luckily for me, there isn’t much haunting going on there, especially with the venue being renovated a little over a year ago, with new lights and sound to help keep the haunts away.
After sets from some local Long Island bands, as is common at Revolution, the first touring act of the night, Kobra and the Lotus, took the stage. The female-fronted heavy metal band started out a little rocky, with a crowd that was more interested in hearing music that was extra heavy and brutal. This quickly changed however, when the incredible talent of each band member shined through and grabbed everyone’s attention. Vocalist Kobra Paige sings in a style similar to that of legends Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford, and with some backing help from bassist Peter Dimov, the vocals were a highly positive part of the band’s performance that rocketed the bands short set to success.
Their final song, 50 Shades of Evil, received a great reaction, with guitarists Jasio Kulakowski and Charlie Parra del Riego, who were no slouches either, ripping and shredding away throughout the entire song. Constantly shifting between solos, the two guitarists kept everyone on their toes. I certainly enjoyed KatL, and hope to see them tour alongside other new heavy metal bands, such as Holy Grail or Huntress.
Up next was death metal band, Hate Eternal. While I do enjoy some death metal, Hate Eternal was just not for me. There were quite a few fans in attendance that seemed to enjoy the pure heavy death metal, but for me, each song just sounded way too similar. Perhaps it was just the mix, or the band had an off night, but I couldn’t get hooked.
However, a highlight for them was when one fan jumped on stage with the band mid-song, as there was no barrier set up at Revolution, and headbanged for a good solid minute up there alongside guitarist/vocalist Erik Rutan, who didn’t seem to mind at all that the fan was there. Once he had his fill, the fan simply dove into the crowd and crowd surfed away. It may happen all the time at hardcore shows, but it’s a rare sight at a death/heavy metal one.
Once Hate Eternal finished up their set, the road crew came out and began stripping down the stage, leaving only one monitor on the small Revolution stage, and clearing all the remaining clutter, providing the headliners with as much movement room as possible.
As the lights dimmed down, front man and vocalist Burton C. Bell, who had his own name displayed proudly on his shirt, stepped out from the back, slowly walked to the front of the stage, threw his fists to the air, and drove Fear Factory into their first song of the night, The Industrialist. Coming off their latest album of the same name, the song broke the crowd into a quick frenzy, helping to set the tone for the rest of the night.
With original guitarist Dino Cazares shredding alongside Burton, the band tore through heavy classics from the bands most popular years. These songs all came from before Cazares took some time away from the group, including Shock, Edgecrusher, What Will Become?, and Linchpin.
Prior to playing Recharger, another new song from Fear Factory’s latest effort, Burton asked the crowd, “How is everyone doing? Any requests?” To which one female fan shouted, “Play all of Obsolete!” Burton gave a hearty laugh replying, “Now, that is quite a tall order!”
“We’re gonna play a few classics now“, Burton exclaimed, to a heavy round of applause and cheers. “This next one is off our first album, Soul of a New Machine. That album turns 21 this year. That makes it old enough to get into a bar!“, Burton joked, “This song is called, Martyr!” With that, Dino moved over to a mic and shouted, “Let’s see those hands in the air!” Which got many to clap their hands along to a steady beat.
After a little over an hour of playing, Burton told the crowd, “For the rest of the night, we’re only going to be playing songs from Demanufacture“, which received resounding excitement. Burton had told us that the band will embark on Demanfactour, and this is an obvious warm-up for that. (You can read the interview here.) Shortly after, they chugged away at the title track of that album and followed it with Self Bias Resistor.
For a short bit, the band exited the stage, returning shortly after when they heard cheers of “More!” and “Encore!” Prior to ending the show with Replica, Burton let everyone in on a secret; “Tonight is a very special night for Dino! It’s his anniversary!” His wife was in attendance watching the whole show, and even took a bow when Burton pointed over to her. “We want to thank you all for being here tonight for this special occasion! We appreciate giving us your time and energy!”
For a band that’s been around for over 20 years, even with a few hiccups and legal arguments along way, Fear Factory in its current form runs quite strong. Sure, they may not have played one of my favorites, their cover of Gary Numan’s Cars, but they did play a solid mix of new and old, and those on Long Island looking for a bit of Friday night heavy metal were left satisfied.