Fresh from the land of the rising sun comes Japan’s FACT; a band seemingly hell-bent on refusing to be categorized, as their self-titled debut comes in the form of a collection of 16 completely different sounding tracks.
The first thing noticeable that separates this band from most other J-Rock bands, is the fact that they actually sing in English. (Albeit, quite difficult to understand, but English nonetheless.)
Opening track Paradox, gives the impression of some sort of dance album, until it explodes into a real metal onslaught. Soft lead guitars adorn the double bass and snarling vocals, and then at the drop of a hat, it all swaps around to soft post-hardcore, and back again. It’s all very confusing stuff, given its morph into a techno-sounding track near the end. Bear in mind, this is only the first of 16-songs that mess with your head like this.
Reborn sounds like something that got rejected from Metallica’s ill-fated St. Anger album, whilst closer Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence gives off a massive dark undertone with its slow pace, and mystique intro.
Each track on the record individually, is in honesty, very good, definitely a fresh change from the “Ooh’s” and …more “Ooh’s” of standard Japanese bands, and can only be described very loosely as simply, rock – in many, many different forms.
None of the tracks really compliment each other, which may cause a listener to lose interest after a listen or two, but each track is held up brilliantly with frontman Hiro, singing beautifully and screaming brutally, much like Dir en grey counterpart Kyo, and the sheer massiveness and melody of a lot of these tracks, Lights Of Vein a real pleaser in this sense.
This record is sure to turn a few heads; FACT are a very different band to anyone else in their own country, as well as any other, and while this album really takes some listening power to get your head around, it’s a strong debut offering from the band.
FACT is out in the UK through Vagrant Records on August 3rd, to pre-order, click HERE.
FACT tour the UK in September, for dates and more information visit: www.myspace.com/factjapan