As far as hardcore bands go these days, FACT is one of the most creative. With every release this recently turned sextet manages to take their sound in new and exciting directions, making every encounter with the band a fresh one. Last year FACT made their first UK appearance in years when touring with blighty boys Your Demise, followed by a crowded basement headline show that left viewers in awe as sweat dripped from the venue ceiling. With 2014 marking the band’s 15th anniversary and the release of their new album ‘witness’ in march, FACT took to the road for their first UK tour of 2014, this time with American metalcore groups, Memphis May Fire and The Word Alive.
With this night serving as the largest show of the tour, this was the time to make an impact, but backing not one, but two of America’s most talked-about metal acts of recent years isn’t the easiest of tasks. Still, FACT showed the crowd what they’re made of with a short but sweet raucous filled set that showcased their innovative take on the hardcore genre with some of their best tracks, both old and new. Though were the crowd blown away? Partly. Despite the high level of polish and sheer force of the set, the crowd was split- some started a small pit, and some just watched on. Overall, crowd participation lacked.
FACT has always been a bit of a marmite band- I’ve seen crowds not move an inch when they take to the stage, and I’ve also seen them set a room alight for some of the most outright visceral shows I’ve seen. This night was just about halfway there, with the band giving it their all, but the shortage of movement from the crowd brought the overall vibe down. Though with the well-earned messages of praise coming from first-time listeners and fans alike throughout the tour via Facebook and Twitter, it seems they still managed to pull in the interest, and just goes to show that although you can’t please all people all the time, you can please some. In band years, FACT might be getting on, but they’re far from outdated, and with the promise of a UK return later in the year, it seems there is no end in sight for Japan’s most unstoppable rock troop!
Words by Charles Shepherd