Returning to the Limelight, the band now are a completely different machine to that that have visited before. In fact, of the four times they've played here, each one was with a different line up, and not a single person on the stage tonight was in the band when they played here in 2010.
Clearly, the Los Angeles band have a murky history in the personnel department, but all of this makes Fear Factory the most unique of propositions, and from the support in the room, it's the songs that matter.
Most importantly, the one thing that hasn't changed in all that time, is their crushing, instantly identifiable sound of seven-string riffage, atomic clock accurate drumming, and guttural roar / melodic vocals. Fear Factory 2023 carry this in spades, and against all odds, they are in fact, very much the real deal.
Assembled by guitarist Dino Cazares who acquired the name after a long and exhaustive legal battle, this new version of the band feature singer Milo Silvestro, drummer Pete Webber, and in place of long time latter-day bassist, Tony Campos, touring bass player Javier Arriaga. And boy do they make a hell of a racket.
With the defiant march of the Terminator ushering them onstage, Fear Factory launched straight into the short sharp 'Shock', of the 'Obsolete' opening track. Following with that same album's 'Edgecrusher', the one-two was a treat for fans of their 1996 masterpiece.
Greeted with a polite response this far, all that changed very quickly; "we're going to take you to a record we called ''Mechanise'. When Mico says "let's go", I want to see everyone from the front to the back headbanging". Delivering the mechanical stomp of 'Powershifter', the sleeping giant of the Limelight burst into life, and with the likes of 'Freedom of Fire' - featuring an otherworldly performance from Webber in particular - and an explosive 'Linchpin' following, remained that way.
Of course, it was the material from 1992 breakthrough 'Demanufacture' that caused the biggest stir, and teasingly keeping those songs to the end Cazares said; "So tomorrow, its going to be our 33rd birthday. We formed this band on Halloween, 1990. When we started this band we wanted to do something different, and I think we nailed it on our second album".
He isn't wrong, and the pulverising trio of 'Demanufacture', 'Self Bias Resistor', and 'Replica' hammered home the point, to devastatingly point-proving effect.
Finishing with the stark beauty of 'Obsolete' closer 'Resurrection', Fear Factory proved that in 2023, they're far from a spent force.
It's been a rocky road to get this far, but Fear Factory's music will far outlive any one band member.