Published Sep 28, 2020After expressing displeasure with the group's crowdfunding of a new album earlier this month, Fear Factory co-founder and vocalist Burton C. Bell has announced his intent to leave the industrial metal outfit.
Bell detailed his departure in a post on his website, referencing the legal troubles that have plagued the group following the release of their most recent album, 2015's Genexus.
"I consider myself a private person, preferring to keep my personal business to myself and trusted loved ones," he writes. "I make my public statements with thoughtful intent, never deviating from the truth, in spite of the consistent series of dishonest representations and unfounded accusations from past and present band members; a toxic drama I choose to not be part of."
Last February, Bell had revealed the title of Fear Factory's Genexus follow-up to be Monolith, and even went as far as sharing artwork for the release. Guitarist Dino Cazares then told listeners that no new album was on the way, alluding to an ongoing lawsuit involving former band members Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera.
An incredibly convoluted legal process ultimately left Bell owing money to Wolbers, Herrera and Cazares, and he alludes to that decision in his statement, writing about how "the past several years have been profoundly agonizing, with these members bleeding my passion with depraved deceit."
"As a direct consequence of their greed, these three have dragged me through the unjust, judicial system, resulting in the legal attrition that has financially crippled me," Bell writes. "In the end, these three members have taken possession of my principal livelihood. However, they will never take my 30-year legacy as the beating heart of the machine. A legacy that no other member, past or present, can ever claim."
Earlier this month, Fear Factory launched a crowdfunding campaign for a Genexus follow-up, explaining to listeners that with legal troubled behind them, funds would go towards post production for a 2021 release.
Not long after the campaign was announced, Bell took to Instagram to inform fans, "I AM NOT PART OF, NOR AM I BENEFITTING, FROM ANY GoFundMe CAMPAIGN." Cazares then responded to listeners concerned with Bell's status, confirming that he had completed vocals for the forthcoming effort.
Bell writes that "it is after considerable, contemplative soul searching that I have come to the realization that I cannot align myself with someone whom I do not trust, nor respect. Therefore, I am announcing to my fans my departure from Fear Factory, to focus all my energy and attention toward the continuing success for Ascension of the Watchers, and all my future endeavors."
"I would like to thank all of my fans for their continued support throughout my career. I am very proud of my achievements, but, it is time for me to move forward. Now I look to the future with open eyes, open mind and open heart, as my artistic path strives for even greater success in music, writing and my art. It's true, 'the end is always the beginning'. The soul is free from the machine."