Brainchild of Bill Leeb (whose real name is Wilhelm Anton Leeb) (William Schroeder is just a pseudonym), an industrial music project that stole part of its name from other similar group, Front 242. Formed in 1985, a year after Leeb left Skinny Puppy. Bill made two demos, Nerve War and Total Terror, and got signed to KK records. During this time group name was spelled as Frontline Assembly.
In 1987, Frontline Assembly released it's first album The Initial Command, which was made by Bill Leeb with help from Michael Balch, who also joined in as full-time member and together with helping hand from young Rhys Fulber the group released a new album - State of Mind, on Dossier next year - 1988 was busy year; it saw the change of name to Front Line Assembly on two EPs Corrosion EP and Disorder EP. Later that same year these two were compiled with 3 new tracks to form new album, Convergence.
As time flows on to 1989, Michael Balch leaves the group (still helping every now and then) and Rhys Fulber becomes a full-time member, together they release Gashed Senses and Crossfire. Once again, it takes only one year from Front Line Assembly to release a new album; in 1990, Caustic Grip is released, and it's much praised by industrial people. With lots of fame now, they move on and in 1992 they release Mindphaser as a single, which is probably the most known Front Line Assembly track to date. Mindphaser was released to promote their new album, Tactical Neural Implant, which most people claim to be the best album Front Line Assembly has done. With Mindphaser included, this album couldn't be anything else than big success. Tactical Neural Implant is also the first album where Chris Peterson is seen on credits.
Following their success they sign on to Roadrunner records and release Millennium album in 1994. This album saw Front Line Assembly's change on instrumentation; guitar samples dominated the album heavily and many fans were disappointed (samples were of course not used in tours, where they had live guitarist). Seeing the damage done among the fans, next year they release Hard wired, not forgetting the guitars but using them a little bit less. There was also huge tour and boxed set 2 CD Live-Wired released next year, as well as a video of the tour.
After the tour, late 1996 or early 1997 Rhys Fulber decides to leave the band and Chris Peterson, who had been helping them around in studio and tours, becomes a full-time member. Bill and Chris work together to release FLAvour of the Weak, probably the most disliked album of the band among fans in 1998, with single hit Comatose. They need another year to make a great album Implode, which returned their fame. Front Line Assembly's latest album Epitaph has been released recently. Bill said in an interview that he wanted to go back to synths only songs (less guitars anyway) and return to his roots - to the sound of Caustic Grip.
Bill Leeb has had various side project alongside with Front Line Assembly, for example Will, Delerium, Noise Unit, Intermix and few others. They are also famous of their use of samples on records; you'll find a lot of samples from movies and other bands on their records, some of which are legally used, some are not.
There's a rumor in the air that Chris is about to leave the group. Only time will tell who will replace him as the synth programmer. Best guesses are Rhys Fulber or Michael Balch.
Front Line Assembly Albums:
Nerve War (Self released, 1986)
Total Terror I (Dossier 1986/1993)
Total Terror II (Dossier 1986/1993)
The Initial Command (KK Records 1987)
State of Mind (Dossier 1988)
Convergence (Wax Trax Records 1988)
Gashed Senses and Crossfire (Wax Trax Records 1989)
Caustic Grip (Wax Trax Records 1990)
Tactical Neural Implant (Third Mind Records 1992)
Millennium (RoadRunner Records 1994)
Hard Wired (Off Beat Records 1995)
FLAvour Of The Weak (Metropolis Records 1998)
Implode (Metropolis Records 1999)
Epitaph (Metropolis Records 2001)
Civilization (Metropolis Records 2004)
Compilations, Remix-albums and Live-albums:
Live (London) (Third Mind Records 1991)
Corroded Disorder (Off Beat Records/Cleopatra 1995)
Live-Wired (Off Beat Records 1996)
Reclamation (RoadRunner Records 1997)
Cryogenic Studios (Cleopatra 1998)
RE-WIND (Off Beat Records/Metropolis 1998)
Monument (RoadRunner 1998)
FourFit Singles 90-92 (Zoth Ommog 1998)
Explosion Singles 95-98 (Off Beat Records 1999)
Cryogenic Studios 2 (Cleopatra 2000)
Corrosion EP (1988)
Disorder EP (1988)
Digital Tension Dementia (1989)
No Limit (1989)
The Blade (1992)
Surface Patterns (1994)
FLA vs. Die Krupps - The Remix Wars - Strike 2 (1997)
Colombian Necktie (1997)
Everything Must Perish (2001)
updated February, 18th. 2004
discography sources: www.mindphaser.com, my record shelf