A review by Gordon Lang

venue: NEC Birmingham
dates: 4 & 5 December 1997
support: Fear Factory

Although I was only 19 at the time I have been brought up on a diet of Black Sabbath for my musical taste. Even queueing to get into the NEC you could feel the intensity in the air as this was the cream of the crop, the "Godfathers" of metal right here in Britain. All thoughts of the gruelling overnight drive from Edinburgh to the NEC had been forgotten and a sudden tingling in the bones and rushes of adrenalin were in full flow as we took to our perfect seats in the auditorium.

Fear Factory were on fire that night. Scumgrief, Replica and Self Bias Resistor stick out from their set along with in between song tributes to the greatness which would follow, we were well warmed up.

I shall never forget just casually walking back to my seat when all of a sudden the houselights went down and the video screens kicked into life and the intro tape of riffs ripped through the air. You could easily burst into tears such was the emotion in the air when first of all Bill appeared at the back of the drumkit waving the V sign then they appeared one by one and kicked off with War Pigs. The bass went right through you and you could see from Ozzy's face he was shitting himself. Whether it was the thought of "Will this work" or the overwhelming atmosphere in the arena they delivered to perfection, brutal great riffs peeled off effortlessly from Tony, the Bass rumbling and clear from Geezer and seven shades of shit pounded out the drumkit by Bill. Behind the Wall of Sleep, Lord of this World and Spiral Architect were all surprises for me but the intensity and greatness wasn't.

They were great gigs and the one thing throughout both was how well the four gelled together and the more confident Ozzy got to the extent where he was a total nutcase by the end of the second gig. I also attended the 2 gigs on 21 & 22 December 1999 at the NEC and although they were truly great, not a patch on these.

Posted by: Joe Siegler Author Profile Page at July 14, 2010 1:43 AM