Soul of a New Machine
Soul of a New Machine was the first album that Fear Factory released. They have claimed it is a concept album based around the theme of man vs. machine, however, many of the songs do not focus on this theme. Musically, it is the only album they have released that could be definitively considered to be death metal.
Demanufacture was Fear Factory's second album, also a concept album. It presents a dystopian view of the future, where one man struggles to overthrow a government that is completely controlled by machines. Musically, the album has few death metal influences, and is where Fear Factory began to develop their flavor of industrial metal. Many fans consider the album consider it to have been far ahead of its time, and Fear Factory's best album.
Obsolete was Fear Factory's third album, which was another concept album depicting the struggle of man against machine. In it, a hero named Edgecrusher takes on a machine-controlled state called The Securitron. The album was released with a rather extensive back story in the CD case, making Obsolete their greatest effort at simultaneously releasing and album and an accompanying story. Continuing with the theme of a dystopian future, however, Edgecrusher fails and is ultimately killed or jailed by The Securitron. Obsolete was considered a sequel to Demanufacture.
Digimortal was Fear Factory's fourth album, though it was a shift from their usual themes in that is was not dystopian in nature. It is thought to be a sequel to Obsolete, where mankind and machine have merged and become symbiotic, so that they cannot exist without each other. Musically, the album was much more radio-friendly than their previous albums, which drew criticism from some fans. Because their frontman, Burton Bell, did not like the new direction that the band was going, he left the band after this album.
Fear Factory reformed in 2002, and then produced three more albums - Archetype, Transgression, and Mechanize. These albums were not strong concept albums like their previous ones, and thus are not as closely related to the class (though they had some songs that continued the man vs. machine theme). However, they have stated that they intend for their upcoming album to be another strong concept album in the same vein as Obsolete, with an extensive back story. It will continue the theme of man vs. machine.