There have been a lot of odd updates regarding the future of Fear Factory and any possible releases, and now it looks like we may finally have some answers as to what is happening, and it doesn't look good. This morning, Dino Cazares revealed there is no new album, and we now have a pretty good idea why.
MetalSucks breaks down the very complicated legal history that led to this situation, but here is the basic gist. it can all be traced back to frontman Burton C. Bell's settlement with former members Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera.
Essentially, all parties entered into an agreement where Christian and Raymond would agree to let Dino and Burton use the Fear Factory name for a small licensing fee. They entered into this agreement in California. This happened in 2011.
Later that year, Bell and his wife filed for bankruptcy in Pennsylvania and were granted a "discharge injunction," which means that creditors couldn't hound them for owed money. Wolbers and Herrera were listed as owed creditors, but Bell did not inform the judge of his recent settlement.
Once Wolbers and Herrera stopped receiving the payments they felt they were owed, they headed back to court in California, claiming the other parties were in violation of the agreement. Bell was ordered to pay $900,0000 in damages and legal fees.
Bell filed a motion in PA arguing that the lawsuit violated his original discharge injunction. The judge ruled that three of counts of the lawsuit did violate the injunction, but one particular count didn't – that count being damages from using the name that partially belonged to Obers and Herrera.
The judge allowed Bell to have a hearing to "establish his damages for violation caused by advancing" the other counts of the lawsuit. At this point, we are unsure what happened but one thing remains very clear.
With Bell owing his former bandmates money, it could certainly make it difficult to earn more money under the Fear Factory name. All of that money could end up being held up in court.
Basically, until this legal mess is sorted it would be too complicated for Fear Factory to do anything.