UK-based death dealers Climate of Fear came out of the gate kicking and screaming with their debut full-length, The Onset of Eternal Darkness. The follow-up to last year’s Holy Terror EP, The Onset of Eternal Darkness combines Carcass’ melodic approach to death metal with elements of hardcore—members of Climate of Fear previously played in UK hardcore bands Desolated, Cold Hard Truth and more. Lyrically, the band are focused on the issues they see in the world today.
Decibel caught up with guitarist Sam Ellis Thompson to talk about The Onset of Eternal Darkness, hardcore and touring. The album is out and streaming now.
The Onset of Eternal Darkness is a record inspired by the political and social climate today. What is the message you want to convey via the album?
On the album we talk about a few different individual social/political issues, but the overall theme is the idea that all of the major problems we talk about both in the present day and historically are as a result of the same root cause: capitalism. So even though specific songs could be about racism or religion or poverty or ecological collapse, the cause of all these problems is a system driven by greed and profit instead of collectively in the interest of everyone. The name Climate of Fear comes from the desire of the mass media and the elites who control it to set us against each other, so right now we may be told to be scared of a certain religion or race or encouraged to get fired up about certain political issue when really these are just distractions.
The members of Climate of Fear come from a hardcore and beatdown background. Do you think that the ethos and sound of that genre affected the music and message when you wrote The Onset of Eternal Darkness?
I think it’s impossible to write music without being influenced in some way by all their experiences in your life up until that point. We’ve all played in a range of bands across a range of different styles but the whole time we were doing that, we were all still listening to the same classic metal stuff that forms the core influence on COF. The DIY ethic and sense of community in the hardcore scene is something we love and always will, but that same sense of community is prevalent in any underground scene and it should always be valued.
Climate of Fear tours and plays out pretty hard, playing something like fifty shows while also completing your debut album. Did that allow you to dial in your sound before hitting the studio?
Playing a lot of shows and spending a lot of time in a van together talking about music has definitely helped us to forge a common understanding of what we’re trying to achieve. The fact that we all bring different influences and ideas to the table makes writing music really enjoyable, which I guess it should be!
That being said, our first EP was entirely written before the band started playing, so I think the differences between the two records can largely be attributed to playing a lot of shows across a lot of different countries and sitting in a van showing each other albums and talking about ideas.
Now that The Onset of Eternal Darkness is out, what are COF’s upcoming recording and touring plans?
Get back in the van and keep playing is the short answer! We’ve got some shows in France with our friends in Wolfpack coming up and we’re hitting Finland for the first time in May to play a fest with King Nine plus a lot of great Euro bands. I wish I could say more at this stage, but there’s some other stuff in the works I can’t talk about yet…
We’ve also started writing again because that’s a bug we can’t shake off, so album number two on its way at some point!