CLIMATE OF FEAR
"The Onset Of Eternal Darkness"

(Demons Run Amok)

1. Rapture
2. The Cult Of Retribution
3. Shadow & Flame
4. Centuries Of Torment
5. Storming The Heavens
6. De Conflictu Noctis Aeternae Obruat
7. Slaves Of Capital
8. From Enslavement To Extinction
9. Divide & Conquer

RATING: 8/10

Angry times should demand lots of angry music, but it's extraordinary how few young metal bands seem to have anything pertinent to say about the state of the world. As a result, CLIMATE OF FEAR's debut album immediately stands out as a venomous and jolting shot in the arm for the UK's ever-fertile underground and, with any luck, the wider metal world. With their anti-capitalist, anti-exploitation and anti-religion stance made perfectly plain in song titles like "Slaves Of Capital" and "Centuries Of Torment" and a sound that embraces feral thrash, jaw-shattering melo-death and the most brutish of metallic hardcore, this British quintet may just be the perfect antidote to the broader scene's lyrical malaise.

It certainly helps that "The Onset Of Eternal Darkness" is unapologetic about its debt to SLAYER. With welcome echoes of UK forebearers STAMPIN' GROUND, opening song "Rapture" is a riot of refined Hannemania, from its keening, devilish intro lick to the multi-speed thuggery of its many scything riffs. Meanwhile, "The Cult Of Retribution" begins with an archetypal acoustic intro before morphing into a fractious whirlwind of tempo shifts and anti-gravity blasting, lashings of Devil's tritone menace spotlighting the looming specter of thrash metal's evil kings. But where SLAYER clones are often a defiantly one-dimensional lot, CLIMATE OF FEAR are as comfortable misusing a SABBATH riff or throwing in some CANNIBAL CORPSE-style discord as they are with the rudiments of thrash.

As the album evolves, it soon becomes apparent that death metal provides this band with their real starting point: "Shadow & Flame" boasts an enormous, cudgeling beatdown that could indicate an underlying influence from hardcore, but that really sounds like an anxious DYING FETUS. Similarly, "From Enslavement To Extinction" is armed with multiple tempo twists and acres of lumbering chug, but an air of blackened iciness leaks through the cracks, transforming the seemingly straightforward into something far more distinctive. Even at their most succinct, on two-minute ragers "Centuries Of Torment" and "Storming The Heavens", seemingly incompatible elements like mad-eyed hyper-grind and HIMSA-esque metalcore are thrown violently together with stunning results. Meanwhile, the instrumental "De Conflictu Noctis Aeternae Obruat" provides the album with an unexpected, baroque post-rock interlude that, oddly, really works.

Most importantly, CLIMATE OF FEAR really do sound pissed. The Brits will by no means be the first band to exhort their audience to "Wake the fuck up!", as vocalist Paul does at the start of "Slaves Of Capital", but here the command is clearly delivered out of desperation, not because the man with the microphone wants you all to go apeshit and throw your drinks at each other. In an era where people routinely confuse compassion with oversensitivity, extreme metal powered by righteousness is more valuable than ever, particularly when it is as convincing and exciting as this. Relentlessly bleak but full of life-affirming savagery, "The Onset Of Eternal Darkness" doesn't exactly offer much hope for humanity's future, but it does absolutely fucking insist that we rage against the dying of the light.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).