Static-X Opens 2020’s Second Half With One More Of The Year’s Top New Hard Rock & Metal Albums

Courtesy: Otsego Entertainment Group, LLC/TAG Publicity

More than 11 years have passed since industrial metal band Static-X released its last album, Cult of Static.  Fans’ wait for new material from the band will come to its end Friday with the release of Static-X’s new album Project Regeneration Volume 1.  The 12-song record takes previously unused vocals from the band’s late front man Wayne Static and crosses them with new musical arrangements from the band’s original lineup of Tony Campos (bass), Ken Jay (drums) and Koichi Fukuda (guitar) to make the final product.

That mix of new musical arrangements and unused lyrical content combines for a record that is sure to appeal to longtime fans and those less familiar with the band’s catalog alike.  Each item will be discussed here.  Also of note is the sequencing of those arrangements and lyrical themes.  This will also be discussed as part of this examination of Project Regeneration Volume 1.  When it is considered along with the album’s overall content, the whole of the record becomes a presentation that is without argument, a work that kicks off the second half of 2020 on a high note for the hard rock and metal community.

With the countdown to the end of 2020 officially on, it did not take long for the year’s first great heard rock and metal album to see the light of day.  That album comes from veteran industrial metal band Static-X.  The album – Project Regeneration Volume 1 — is a strong new offering from the original Static-X lineup of Tony Campos, Ken Jay, and Koichi Fukuda.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question do show some links back to Static-X’s early days, but also shows a certain amount of creative growth from the band in whole.  The most prominent point at which the album reaches back to its early days comes early in the album’s 39-minute run time in the form of its lead single ‘Hollow.’  That song’s overall stylistic approach, with its steady bass drum beat, guitars and percussive vocal delivery style from enigmatic front man “Xero” immediately lends itself to comparison to Static-X’s breakout hit single ‘Push It,’ featured in the band’s 1999 debut album Wisconsin Death Trip.  ‘Terminator Oscillator,’ which comes shortly after ‘Hollow,’ but still early in the album’s sequence, is an example of the latter statement.  It shows that noted growth from the band, as it relies more on keyboards and electronics than much of what the band has offered audiences in its past albums.  It and a number of other songs featured in the album, rely more on keyboards and electronics than works from the band’s past albums.  The noted songs lend themselves to comparisons to works from other industrial and electronic acts, such as Frontline Assembly, Ministry, and Juno Reactor.  That is just as evident late in the album’s run in ‘Otsego Placebo’ and in ‘My Destruction’ as anywhere else in the album.  The sampling is there right alongside the keyboards and the band’s more familiar metal guitar riffs.  Now given, the band did go through multiple lineup changes over its initial run, so naturally stylistic changes were to be expected.  This record on the other hand takes much of the stylistic approach used in Wisconsin Death Trip and builds on said approach.  Musically speaking, that approach makes Project Regeneration Volume 1 Static-X’s best album to date.  Of course the album’s musical content is just one part of what makes it so engaging.  The record’s lyrical themes add their own share of interest to its presentation, too.

The lyrical themes presented throughout Project Regeneration Volume I are important to discuss because of the amount of ground that they cover.  From the personal to the peculiar (in a good way), audiences are offered quite a bit that will keep them engaged throughout.  One of the most notable of the album’s more personal lyrical themes comes late in the album’s run in ‘Bring You Down.’  The song comes across as being rather introspective as Wayne Static addresses a relationship that had apparently gone bad.  What situation is being addressed through the song’s lyrics is anyone’s guess.  That is especially considering how long Static’s vocals had been sitting unused.  That aside, it is a deeply personal work that will engage listeners.  Static sings in the song’s lead verse, “You were the one to be true/To be down/I was/Out of the black/You brought me/Into the light now/Now take your little pills/Headlong to overkill/Resent me/’Cause I represent what you hate/Don’t wait.”   He continues in the song’s second verse, “Bring me up until you bring me down/Take me to hell/Bring me back/I can’t tell/In the black and bring it back/I don’t wanna wait/So I’m gonna say this right now/I feel my mind is going/My discontent showing/And now I know, I know/I’ve got to bring you down.”  Obviously that last line, “I know/I’ve got to bring you down” is not Static saying he has to bring someone down, but rather, he is speaking sarcastically in a manner of speaking.  Everyone who knows about Static-X’s history can’t help but wonder if this had any relation to the band’s breakup or to something else.  Again, regardless, this content is certain to engage listeners and generate its own share of discussion among listeners.  It is just one example of what makes the lyrical content featured in Project Regeneration Volume 1 noteworthy.

‘Terminator Oscillator’ is another example of the key examples of the importance of this album’s lyrical content.  This song’s lyrics were penned by current front man Xero instead of Wayne Static.  While the song’s musical arrangement would be a good fit on Fear Factory’s 1997 remix album Remanufacture, the song’s lyrics are unique and quite intense.  The song’s lead verse states, “I am the senseless/The vicious/The wicked/Annihilate/Calculate/Devastate/Terminate/Obliterate/Incinerate/I am the vicious/Exterminate/Violate/Devastate/Decapitate/Assassinate/Exhilarate/I am the wicked.”  Its second verse, reads, “Suffocate/Desecrate/Devastate/Terminate/Obliterate/Disintegrate/I am the vicious/Exterminate/Violate/Devastate/Decapitate/Assassinate/Accelerate/I am the wicked.”  The song adds in its finale, “I want it/I need it/I’m gonna hunt you down/I am the senseless/The vicious/The wicked.”  Knowing that an oscillator is something that swings back and forth in a set pattern, and that a terminator is something that ends the operation of something, maybe this has something to do in the bigger picture, then, with maybe someone who apparently who has two distinct mindsets that are one.  Of course that likely is not precisely on point.  Being that this is such metaphorical (and intense) lyrical content, it is just as certain to generate its own share of interest among audiences, showing even more why the album’s lyrical content is so important to the whole of its presentation.  It is just one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important.  ‘Something of my Own’ is one more example of what make the album’s lyrical content so important.

‘Something of My Own’ comes across as another personal commentary from Wayne Static, and is sure to keep listeners just as engaged as any of the album’s other songs.  Static, through his archived performance, sings in the song’s lead verse, “All my life a new beginning/All my life not understanding/All my life it’s you and me/And all my life we disagree/See through the dark/See through the light/See through the black and see through the white/And all night long/See through these shadows/All night long/You’re all that matters.”  He continues in the song’s chorus, “Leave me to burn/Out in the cold/Leave me to learn/Things on my own/I’ve been searching/Searching my soul/Looking for something of my own.”  He closes out the song in its second verse, singing, “Three years ago/I didn’t know her/Now she’s gone/I sit and wonder/What went wrong and couldn’t tell/And now I sit here/In my hell.”  It would seem that this has something to do with another relationship matter.  What’s interesting here is the power in the song’s musical arrangement.  The lyrics alone seem rather brooding, but the song’s musical arrangement makes the emotion anything but brooding.  Rather, it comes across as someone who is angry at one’s self for allowing a situation to reach the point at which it did.  It’s another interesting matter that will connect with a wide range of listeners even with its seemingly personal nature.  When it is considered along with the other noted lyrical themes and the rest of the album’s lyrical themes, audiences learn even more why the album’s lyrical content is just as important to its presentation as its musical content.  Music and lyrics taken into consideration together, they make for plenty of reason for audiences to take in this record.  They are just a portion of what makes the album worth hearing.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Project Regeneration Volume 1’s sequencing is important to note because of the aesthetic impact that it has on the album’s presentation.  From start to end of this record, the sequencing ensures that its energy remains at its highest point, barely letting up at any point.  The arrangements’ styles change slightly from one to the next, but even as they change, the album’s energy does not let up.  This means audiences will remain just as entertained and engaged through the stability in the album’s energies as through its arrangements and lyrical content.  To that end, the album wins for its aesthetics as much as for its overall content.  All things considered, the album in whole proves itself a strong return for Static-X and gives plenty of hope for Project Regeneration Volume 2, which is scheduled for release later this year.  Its release date will be announced soon.

Static-X’s new album Project Regeneration Volume 1, is the first great hard rock/metal album from the second half of 2020.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements, which echo some of the hints of the band’s past works but also show a certain amount of evolution from the band members, ¾ of which are the band’s original members.  The album’s lyrical content generates its own engagement and entertainment through its personal and otherwise themes.  Those themes will generate plenty of discussion among listeners as a result of that engagement and entertainment.  The album’s sequencing rounds out the most important of its elements.  It ensures that while the arrangements’ stylistic approaches change slightly from one to the next, the album’s energy never lets up too much.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Project Regeneration Volume 1 not only the first great hard rock/metal album of 2020’s second half, but one of the year’s top new hard rock/metal albums overall.

More information on Static-X’s new album, tour dates and more is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.static-x.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/staticx

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OfficialStaticX

 

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‘Voices’ Will Leave Lots Of Voices Talking About Red Tide Rising

Courtesy: Vanity Records

Courtesy: Vanity Records

Colorado is not typically the first place that people think of when they think of major centers of music.  Though, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats definitely helped put the state on the musical map last year with the release of its eponymous 2015 full-length studio recording.  Now another Colorado-based band is looking to make its mark on the state’s musical community with the release of its new EP Voices.  The band goes by the name of Red Tide Rising.  The five-song record is available now.  Listening through the nineteen-minute record it can be said of the band that it is ready to be not just one of the Denver music scene’s next big names but that of the mainstream rock realm, too.

Red Tide Rising’s new EP Voices, which was produced and co-written by Drowning Pool drummer Mike Luce (except for ‘You’re Nothing), is not the Littleton, Colorado-based hard rock quartet’s record.  It is however the band’s first real chance at breaking through and becoming part of the mainstream rock realm.  That is clear in the disc’s searing closer ‘New Breed’ both in its musical arrangement and its lyrical theme.  The band waste’s no time getting listeners’ attention with the song’s musical arrangement.  Guitarist Andrew Whiteman (front man Matthew Whiteman’s brother) launches right into the song with a full throttle Spineshank style riff.  Drummer Guerin establishes the song’s foundation alongside bassist Michae LeBois’ solid low end.  The combined sound of each line makes for a song that despite being the record’s closer, is its most powerful musical statement.  Of course one would be remiss to ignore front man Matthew Whiteman’s vocals talents as part of the song’s success.  Whiteman channels Mushroomhead front man Jeffrey Nothing in this song  The similarity between the two front men’s vocal styles is especially evident in the song’s chorus.  Speaking of Whiteman, Whiteman’s words are just as powerful and impacting here as are his vocals and the talents of his band mates.  Whiteman sings of false friends—those people who talk out of both sides of their mouths, lifting up a person on one side while discreetly tearing them down on the other side—in this song.  Considering this, the driving energy being exuded by the song’s musical arrangement makes it a solid match with the song’s lyrical theme.  It serves quite well to illustrate the negative energy of those people and at the same time the frustration felt by those who have been wronged by those same people.  Keeping all of this in mind, it serves collectively to show why this song is Voices’ anchor despite being the record’s closer.  It is just one example of what makes Voices potentially Red Tide Rising’s breakout record.  The equally blistering ‘You’re Nothing (But S***)’ is another of the record’s most important compositions.

‘New Breed’ is an important inclusion in Red Tide Rising’s latest offering.  It is just one of the record’s most notable compositions.  The equally searing ‘You’re Nothing (But S***)’ is just as notable as ‘New Breed’ thanks in part to its radio ready musical arrangement.  [Andrew] Whiteman leads the way once again here as he craft’s a solid melodic hard rock sound in the song’s guitar line.  Guerin and LeBois follow Whiteman’s lead, working with him to establish a solid foundation for the song in its musical arrangement.  The song’s musical arrangement establishes a solid foundation for the song.  It is just one part of what makes this song such an impacting work.  [Matthew] Whiteman’s lyrics build on that musical foundation to make the song one of the EP’s strongest moments if not its strongest moment overall.  Much as in the case of ‘New Breed’ Whiteman addresses those types who live just to make others’ lives miserable.  That is evident as he sings, “The bridge is burned/I’m not concerned/I never thought poor to you/In the end/We’ve all gone mad/the story ends here for you/I’m not your slave/I’m not your boss/I’ll never be your g**d***ed scapegoat.”  That’s a pretty telling statement to say the very least.  This is someone that is done with people’s garbage and their games.  It is that proverbial musical middle finger to said subjects.  Now given, this is hardly the first time that any singer/band has ever tackled such a subject.  Yet Whiteman still manages to make his own impact here.  That impact doesn’t end here.  He goes on to sing along with his band mates in the song’s chorus, “I don’t care/What the world has given you/You’re nothing, nothing/I don’t care/What the f*** you think of me/You’re nothing but s*** like me.”  Whiteman doesn’t let up an inch from here.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Run your mouth/Everyday/Throw your fit and walk away/B**** at this/B**** at that/Get out of my face/You psychopath.”  From here, Whiteman and company reprise the song’s chorus before launching into one more lyrical salvo.  That final verbal assault is no less intense musically or in terms of Whiteman’s aggressive delivery of said lyrical venom.  As a matter of fact it is just as intense as the song’s previous verses.  Keeping that in mind, the whole of this song proves in the end to be quite the volatile composition.  That is meant in the best way possible, too.  Simply put, the combination of the song’s musical arrangement and its caustic lyrical content makes it one of this record’s strongest showings and possibly even its strongest.  It still is not the last example of what makes Voices such a solid outing for Red Tide Rising.  The disc’s defiant opener ‘Writing on the Wall’ is one more example of what makes Voices solid.

‘New Breed’ and ‘You’re Nothing (But S***)’ are both key examples of what makes Voices a solid new effort from Red Tide Rising.  Both songs offer content—both musical and lyrical—that makes each radio ready songs.  They are not the record’s only radio ready offerings.  The record’s defiant opener ‘Writing On The Wall’ could just as easily be used as a single for the record.  As with the previously noted songs this song’s musical arrangement serves as the basis for this argument.  The song opens with a slow, brooding guitar line from Andrew Whiteman.  It doesn’t take long before the rest of the band joins in and really launches the song.  Matthew’s lyrics are just as hard hitting here as in the EP’s other noted compositions, as is his delivery of said lyrics.  He sings here, “I refuse to be left behind/In dust/Haunted by/The ones I lost/But they’re the fire/That keeps on burning/The light shining in the dark/My voice/Can you hear me/My voice has just begun/My eyes have seen the beating/I have witnessed/The writing on the wall.”  This is just a small dose of Whiteman’s verbal assault here.  He goes on to sing in the song’s third verse of facing even more negativity but then goes on to remind himself in the song’s chorus once more of what keeps him going.  So it is very similar lyrically speaking.  And in the bigger picture of the EP’s five songs, it too carries that ongoing theme of facing the negativity in life bravely rather than letting it hold one’s self down.  Keeping this in mind, that theme couples with the song’s musical and lyrical content to show once more why it is yet another of the key offerings from Voices.  Of course it is hardly the last of the disc’s notable songs.  ‘Suffocate’ and ‘The Sound of Voices Screaming’ are both impressive in their own right, too.  They partner with the songs more directly discussed here to show why Voices is, in whole, the record that could help Red Tide Rising *ahem* rise to rock’s mainstream realm.

Red Tide Rising’s new EP Voices only boasts five songs and runs only nineteen minutes in length.  That isn’t much.  But in the course of that time, the Denver, Colorado-based quartet shows that it is truly a band ready to “rise” to rock’s mainstream realm.  That is evident in both the record’s musical and lyrical content from beginning to end.  The musical arrangements in each of its featured songs are on the same level as so many of today’s major mainstream rock songs.  Its recurring theme of facing the negatives in life with confidence in each song’s lyrical content is just as important to note.  When all of those elements are combined, they make a whole that from beginning to end is a record that could break the band into rock’s mainstream realm.  It is available now and will be available at all of the band’s upcoming live dates.  Those dates are available online now along with all of the band’s latest news, member bios, and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.redtiderising.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/redtiderising

Twitter: http://twitter.com/redtiderising

 

 

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Honour Crest’s New EP Will Impress Industrial Rock Audiences

Courtesy: Indianola Records

Honour Crest’s new full length release, Metrics is a work that established fans of this band will likely enjoy.  The Virginia Beach, VA based band continues its tradition of melding electronics and heavier metalcore sounds to make a sound similar to that of Fear Factory, Spineshank, and Crossbreed.  One of the best examples of the band’s abilities on this release is in its new single, ‘Horcrux.’  Not only does it impress with its melding of electronic elements and its more metal side, but lyrically, it breaks the mold of the standard relationship based songs.  Front man Lucas Borza writes in this song, “We cannot give in/No matter what they will tell us/Our hearts were made to withstand/We cannot give in/No matter what/They will test us/and push us/To the very edge/We cannot give in.”  It’s a very empowering song that will appeal not only to younger listeners, but even to older audiences as there will always be those who will test us and push us to the edge, just as the song’s chorus notes.  The combination of this song’s lyrics and music makes it easily one of the best tracks on this release.

The band impresses just as much on the album’s opener, ‘Flux.’  Again, it carries a theme of personal strength mixed with a balance of electronics and harder edged metalcore sounds.  Borza writes in this song, “Stop/Hold your ground/Our enemies can never/Breach these walls/I persevere/In a place that has no cover.”  Again, there is that sense of self assurance and empowerment. That positive message, mixed with the musical backing of the song will make it another fan favorite.

Metrics boasts even more interesting tracks than just this pair.  For example, the pairing of ‘Interlude’, which comes in at just under a minute and a half, and ‘Search and Seizure’ sound like they could have easily fit onto the soundtrack to Disney’s Tron Legacy.  Forget the lyrical content.  The musical side of this combination makes for another high point to this EP.  Metrics is available now in stores and online.  It can be downloaded via iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/metrics/id564027702.  Fans will also get the chance to hear the band’s music live as it is touring in support of the new release.  The band will be performing in Richmond, VA today, and then follow that with a home town show tomorrow in Virginia Beach.  The band will also be in Raleigh, North Carolina for its NC based fans on Sunday, November 4th.Fans can get a full tour listing and all the latest from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/honourcrest

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“Anger, Denial, Acceptance” a strong re-introduction for Spineshank

Courtesy: Century Media

Los Angeles, California based Spineshank was one of the leading bands at Roadrunner Records when it released its first three albums from the late 1990’s up to 2003.  But after the release of its Grammy nominated third album, “Self Destructive Pattern”, fans were shocked to hear that the band had parted ways.  Johnny Santos went on to moderate success with another band, Silent Civilian, while the remaining band members kept themselves busy, too.  Fast forward nine years.  After seemingly working out whatever caused the original breakup, the band has finally released a brand new album that mixes the best elements of both “The Height of Callousness” (2000) and “Self Destructive Pattern”(2003) while moving in a different direction, too.

“Anger, Denial, Acceptance” has already met with mixed reviews among fans.  Most of the fans who are seemingly displeased with this record are the ones who wanted the band to stay the same.  But what those fans are missing is the fact that the band does incorporate its older sound with its attempts to stay up with the changes in the metal community.  The album’s opener, ‘After The End’ is a perfect re-introduction to fans.  It feels like it could have fit easily onto “The Height of Coullsness.”  That track is followed by another welcome memory of the past in ‘Nothing Left For Me.’  This one feels like it belonged with the band’s material from “Self Destructive Pattern.” 

After “ADA”‘s first two tracks, listeners are treated to something a little different from Spineshank in the album’s title track.  Is this song style anything new to the metal community?  No.  But is it new territory for Spineshank?  Yes.  And the band pulls it off with just as much ease as the album’s other work.  Odds are that the influence of having more melodic metal alongside the band’s older industrial sound is thanks to Santos’ time in Silent Civilian.  Audiences should keep in mind that if a band continues to do the same kind of music over and over again album after album, fans will have the likelihood of abandoning said band.  So for Santos to bring in that influence actually adds more depth to Spineshank’s repetoire. 

“ADA” Isn’t dominated by the more speed/melodic metal influences.  As noted, even with those songs on the album, the band does maintain a modicum of its former sound.  For example, after pounding through the album’s title track, it’s follow-up, ‘I Want You To Know’, and ‘Murder-Suicide’, Spineshank gets back to its older sound in ‘I Am Damage.’  More open minded audiences will also really enjoy ‘Everything Everyone Everywhere Ends.’  This piece carries the band’s older sound while adapting to the current metal scene at the same time.

A long time has passed since the metal community last heard from Spineshank.  A lot has changed in that time.  Spineshank has embraced the change and released an album that true open minded fans will appreciate.  There are touches of Spineshank’s older music, along with proof that the band can move in a new direction if it wanted.  Given it’s nice to hear that older sound.  But the band has proven it can take newer soudns and put its own spin on said sound.  In short, true open minded fans will see that Spineshank has proven on “ADA” that change can be a good thing.  It just has to be “ACCEPTED.”

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Fear Factory adds one more to the list of 2012’s best metal albums

Static-X, Rammstein, and Spineshank are all some of the bigger names in today’s world of industrial metal.  But if not for Fear Factory, none of those bands–or any other for that matter–likely would have become as famous as they are.  Fear Factory broke industrial metal through as an acceptable standard with the release of its 1992 debut album, “Soul of a New Machine.”  The band built a worldwide fan base from there on, with albums centered on stories of man versus machine.  Now two decades later, Fear Factory continues to pave the way as a leader in both the industrial metal community and the metal community as a whole despite both changes in labels and band members.  Fans will hear that loud and clear on June 5th with the release of the band’s eighth album, “The Industrialist.”

“The Industrialist” is one of Fear Factory’s best album’s to date.  Just as the band’s previous release, “Mechanize” has been compared to “Soul of a New Machine”, “The Industrialist” is easily compared to another of the band’s mega hit albums, “Demanufacture.”  The two albums are very similar both musically and lyrically.  While it doesn’t go the exact same route of man vs. machine, “The Industrialist” does take the route of man using machine to destroy himself and wipe himself off the face of the Earth.  Fans who pick up the special expanded edition of the album will get the full story written by frontman Burton C. Bell in a companion booklet.  The band’s website, http://www.feafactory.com also offers a trailer that explains the premise behind the album’s story.  It’s all the more motivation to pick up the expanded edition and get the entire story behind the album.

Musically, the album is just as crushing not only as “Demanufacture”, but as anything that Fear Factory has written.  The album’s opener sets the tone for what’s to come with its title track.  It’s clearly old school Fear Factory.  From the guitars to the bullet sharp work of new drummer Mike Heller, this track alone will bring out fond feelings of nostalgia among all Fear Factory fans.  As precise as his drumming is here–and throughout the album–one wouldn’t even know that Raymond Herrera wasn’t the man behind the kit.  Another of those moments comes in ‘Depraved Mind Murder.’  Heller’s work on the drums is just as tight on this song.  Of course, he isn’t the only one who impresses.  Vocalist Burton C. Bell and guitarist Dino Cazares have seemingly mended their fences.  And the pair are a force to be reckoned with.  Bells vocals are as strong as ever on ‘Recharger’ and ‘Depraved Mind Murder.’ 

“The Industrialist” is a top notch album from Fear Factory.  The entire band works like…well…a well oiled machine (yes that’s a bad pun).  However, as great as the band works together, the people behind the glass played a hand in the album’s creation, too.  Back on board again is long time producer Rhys Fulber (Frontline Assembly).  Fulber has had his hand on nearly every one of Fear Factory’s records.  That familiarity with the band obviously played a major role in how impressive “The Industrialist” turned out.  Greg Reely (Paradise Lost, Machine Head) mixed the album.  The combination of two such accomplished individuals made for quite the expectations from this album.  And the album more than lived up to said expectations.  Add in the album artwork of Anthony Clarkson (Devin Townsend), and long time fans of Fear Factory will have on June 5th, what is some of Fear factory’s best work to date.

The band is currently on tour in support of its upcoming tour, alongside Shadows Fall on the “Noise in The Machine” tour.  It will be in Winston-Salem tonight at Ziggy’s.  Fans can keep up with the band’s full tour itinerary and more on the band’s website, http://www.fearfactory.com, its Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/fearfactory, and on its Twitter page, http://twitter.com/fear_factory.