Well, this sucks. I guess you really can tear him apart.
After a years-long legal battle and a new album being held in abeyance as a result, vocalist Burton C. Bell has parted ways with industrial metal titans Fear Factory. It appears as though the split is amicable, at least as much so as it can possibly be, but it’s nevertheless a messy one.
Burton C. Bell lost the rights to the Fear Factory name in a nasty court battle. To make a long story short, Bell entered an agreement with former guitarist/bassist Christian Olde Wolbers and former drummer Ray Herrera, which stipulated that Bell could use the Fear Factory name for a price to Wolbers and Herrera. In 2014, Bell and his wife filed for bankruptcy, and part of this filing was a discharge injunction, meaning that any creditors Bell and his wife had couldn’t come after them for any debts, and this of course included his former bandmates.
The former rhythm section then sued Bell, saying that their previous agreement was breached, and Bell would owe something to the tune of $900K to the two. Parts of the suit stood up, others didn’t, but the weirdest part comes when Judge John J. Thomas died the same day the decision was rendered. I’m not implying any conspiracy at work, put your tin foil hats away, but that is one hell of a coincidence, no doubt.
There’s far more to this situation, but for brevity’s sake, MetalSucks had a great summary of the proceedings, which you can find here.
Dino Cazeres sought to get the rights to the Fear Factory name back from his former bandmates, but the issue of a new album was also in the air. This led to Cazeres starting a GoFundMe to help fund the production of said album, which Bell claimed he had nothing to do with. It was accused that Cazeres was using this crowdfunding for his own gain, but he has repeatedly indicated that the funds collected from the campaign would solely be used for the album, as promised in the campaign description.
Bell then quit the band, prompting Cazeres to call him out and implore Bell to “tell the truth.” This led to a statement from Cazeres, in which he points out that the new album will feature Bell’s vocals, which were recorded in 2017, and that if Bell wants to return to the band, the door is open, but won’t be open forever.
As it stands now, the new Fear Factory is slated for release next year, while Bell’s group Ascension of the Watchers has a new album, Apocrypha, due out this Friday, October 9th. It’s a messy situation, and it’s sad to see money come between bandmates, but at least we are guaranteed one more album with the original Dry Lung Vocal Martyr himself at the helm.