Back To The Past (22):

A short "Back to the Past" story this time. FACT hails from Germany and plays decent heavy metal. And we can definately state (I will name them immediatly, so you will know what music style we're talking about) that this band was the ultimate copy of ACCEPT. This fivesome consisted of Peer Würfel on drums, Michael Otto-guitar, Thorsten Kath-bass, Reent Froehlich-vocals and metal maiden Patricia Huth on guitar.

The band was founded in Sande, a small place in the Northern part of Germany near Wilhemshaven, in June '83. At the time, there were plenty of new bands filling up the scene in Germany. FACT had already been playing the youth clubs in and around Wilhelmshaven. Just for fun. When they saw all these German metal bands had been releasing good selling albums, they decided to record a six track demo tape also and shop it around to the record labels. The tape, recorded in February 1984, was send to independent labels and got a lot of good reactions. The only reason, the band didn't get signed, was due to the fact they sounded far too much like ACCEPT. Although this band was very successful all over the world, nobody was really waiting for an exact copy of this band from Sollingen. Except for Axel Thubeauville from Eartshaker Records (which was a division of Mausoleum Records), who was interested in signing the band. Through him, they received green light to record their debut album "As a Matter of.... FACT". Eartshaker Records also released albums from STEELER, BRAINFEVER and LIVING DEATH. For FACT this was the opportunity to show the world, they were ready for the big job. And in September 1984, their debut album was released. The press received the album very well, especially in Germany, Belgium and over here in Holland. Listening to the record nowadays makes you realize, why the band was often called FAC(CEP)T. Reents vocals sound exactly the same as Udo Dirkschneider. Nonetheless, it rocked like hell and songs like "Marauder" and "Sound Attack" still sound great in 1999. While "Hard Times" through its great guitarwork and slightly NWOBHM sounding style, differs most from the other eight songs, is still my favorite track on this album. Hard and aggressive guitars with high screaming vocals. Who could ask for more in those days?

In October 1984, the band was chosen to play on the German version of the Aardshock day in Der Zeche in Bochum. The people were very impressed by this newcomer band, which sounded like a professional band. This resulted in March '85 in a German tour with CUTTY SARK and opening for Belgian metal act CROSSFIRE. The tour also brought them to non-metal country Luxembourg to play a one night gig in the capitol Luxembourg. In Holland they played in June on the Vriemelpop festival in Klarenbeek. In that same period of time, FACT was asked to contribute on the "Metallic Bunny's" mini album. Together with labelmates STEELER, CARRIE (with female vocalist Annelen Middendorf), HOLY MOSES (with female vocalist Sabina Classen, who we now all know from TEMPLE OF THE ABSURD) and ATLAIN. For this release, they recorded a song which made it to none of their records, a song called "Shout Out Loud". A track, which suited very well with all the other songs. Singer Reent also contributed on "The X-Mas Project". An album full of speed metal versions of Christmas songs. Together with members of STEELER, LIVING DEATH, HOLY MOSES, LIONS BREED, RAGE and MEKONG DELTA. Reent is to be heard here on flashing versions of "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland". The recordings took place in August 1985.

After this, the time had come to start recording the new album. "Without Warning" was literally released without warning ("See me playing with words here"- TvP). Released on the Earthshaker Records label, but this time without the help of Axel. And guess what? The press simply ignored the album, which was in fact a good continuation of the debut album. Not that the ACCEPT mask had disapeared, but the musicians were much better skilled than on their debut album. They also changed bassplayers on this record, which was released in April 1986. Thorsten Kath got replaced by Thomas Röben. And the influences of JUDAS PRIEST in the guitar sound makes this album sound very good. For example "Hotter than Hell" has the same riffs as in "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown)". A FLEETWOOD MAC song covered by JUDAS PRIEST on their very successful live album "Unleashed In The East". Another album, of course another tour, you might think. Not really. Reent decided to quit after the release of "Without Warning". What a shame, 'cause even when the press gives the album a rating from two points out of ten (Metal Hammer, Germany), this album was very well worth listening to. More dark clouds appear, when Earthshaker Records starves a sudden death. After trying to continue with some other singers, Michael Otto decides to quit also. This would mean the end of FACT. That is, as a recording band. Guitarist Patricia Huth can be seen as the driving force behind the band. She can't reconcile that this is really the end of FACT and starts searching for new band members.

In February 1987 they record a new demo tape with singer Mike Feyer. But there's still this other problem with Earthshaker Records. They don't have a record deal. And so they're about to start the long road again from the beginning. Without any record deal, they play on May 23rd 1987 at the Noorderligt in Tilburg as opener for MANOWAR. Bottom line though is, they can't find any record label that wants to sign them. And so the road to fame and fortune already stops after the first few steps.

In an interview with Patricia, we hear some details about the former bandmembers of FACT. Peer Würfel and Reent Froehlich started a new band, called CROSSROADS. We're speaking of 1991 then. They released three albums: "The Wild One" ('91), "Hype" ('92) and "Gasolined" ('94). On "Gasolined", they do the RAMONES cover "Blitzkrieg Bop", but the rest is good metal. CROSSROADS play in 1992 through Germany as support to RUNNING WILD. Somewhere in '92, Thomas Röben also joins CROSSROADS. We can almost talk about a reunion here. As far as I know, the band didn't play any FACT songs during that time in their live set. Michael Otto played in DOUGLAZ A.M. for awhile.

And Patricia??? She didn't sit still either. Not a lot of you people may know that she was involved with the ladies of GIRLSCHOOL. They were about to split up and some bandmembers were about to team up with Patricia. But unfortunately, it never got that far. GIRLSCHOOL stayed together as a band and Patricia searched for another band to join. She came in contact with Anka of ROSY VISTA, another all-female outfit. But her idea of playing in a band was not the same as Patricias idea. FACT, (although they never were really big) always had the intention to become a professional band. They practiced a lot and they put all their spare time into the band. ROSY VISTA was more like a hobby band and nothing serious. So this also ends on a dead trail and Patricia's search goes on. Back to a male outfit in which she would suit fine? She would love that, but she never really got in touch with people that would give everything to play in a band. She decides to quit playing music, but stays active in the music scene. She starts a 'zine, called 'Rock City'. This way she's able to give her vision on the newcoming bands in the scene. Like in FACT, she fully gives herself in this new mission. She goes to gigs and writes about it, and she hates it to write an article of a gig she never went to. 'Cause that's the way it goes sometimes. She also doesn't want to write good reviews, because bands pay her to do so. She writes a good review, because a band deserves it. Honesty is the main word here. She knows from the past that a lot of press people give a good review, because the record label pays them for it. This is the end of FACTs career. We would like to wish Patricia and all the former band members of FACT all the best for the future. Before I forget, I was not paid to write a possitive 'Back to the Past' story about this band. I was just summing up all the available FACTS........

written by: Toine van Poorten/copyright Metal Maidens

Discography FACT:
AS A MATTER OF....FACT ('84 Mausoleum)
WITHOUT WARNING ('85 Earthshaker)
THE X-MAS PROJECT ('85/'86 Shark Records)

Discography CROSSROADS:
BORDERLINE (Edit) ('91 EMI Electrola; 3 tracks)
THE WILD ONE ('91 EMI Electrola)
HYPE ('92 EMI Electrola)
GASOLINED ('94 Griffin Semaphore)