This is the title track of the eighth studio album from the industrial metal band Fear Factory. According to guitarist Dino Cazares, the title was taken from a documentary the band saw about the people who developed "the engines for war machines." The LP was released on June 5, 2012.
Los Angeles designer Anthony Clarkson created the record's artwork. Clarkson is best known for his ghostly surrealist paintings and he also did the cover art for German power metal band Blind Guardian's album, A Twist In The Myth.
The Industrialist is a conceptual record based around a story written by vocalist Burton C. Bell. "The protagonist (The Industrialist) is the incarnation of all industries in the form of an automaton," noted the singer. "The mechanical, technological, and scientific advances through the industrial age led to the creation of The Industrialist. In the story, the automaton becomes sentient as it collects memories with each passing day. Through observation and learning, it gains the will to exist. What was meant to help man, will eventually be man's demise."
In our interview with Dino Cazares, the guitarist added: "In the past, we've always talked about man versus machine. Well, on this record we decided to talk about the perspective of the machine, what he feels, what he thinks, and what he's going through. We call him 'the Automaton,' for lack of better words, a robot. Terminator-looking guy. But it's in human skin and looks very human, feels very human. And it doesn't know that it is an automaton. Doesn't realize that until he figures it out and goes in search for other people who are of his kind, and what he finds out is that he has a certain shelf life. In other words, they run on batteries and their battery is going to die within a few years. So he wants to find his creator and hopes that he extends his life. Because this thing thinks it's human. It thinks like a human, it feels like a human, and mentally it has memories that have been implanted in his head.
But as he lives, he sees. And what he sees and what he learns, it's stored in his memory banks. So he makes them more sentient, which makes him think like a human."
Dino Cazares tells us that this is his favorite song on the album, calling it the biggest and most epic song in the set. "It's got all the elements of Fear Factory," he said. "It starts out big and it goes into the syncopated double bass, kick drums pattern, syncopated with the guitars. And it just sounds like the big machine roll-along."
The song's music video was directed and edited by James Zahn. The clip utilizes live footage of the band from June 2012's Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium against a visual backdrop that pulls topical subjects from the album's storyline.