freedom of fear hysteria

FREEDOM OF FEAR // Through the Gates

Adelaide technical death metal hurricane Freedom of Fear have just released their second album, Carpathia, after completing it more than 18 months ago. 

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It’s taken some time for the band to bring it out “for obvious reasons,” says guitarist Matt Walters. The inability to tour meant they wouldn’t be able to play the songs live to their fans, the band’s preferred method of getting new material to their audience.

“We wouldn’t have been able to tour it, and that’s where we’ve found most of our fanbase,” Walters explains before pointing out one of the biggest pitfalls of relying on the Internet to get product out. “It’s hard online because there’s so many people releasing music all the time. Especially now, it seems like every band is releasing albums. If we weren’t able to tour it would have been shit, so we sat on it for a while.”

Border closures created further delays for the release, as they were unable to get the clips for Zenith and Carpathia completed.

“The videos took some time to get sorted because the videographer being from Brisbane, the borders kept getting shut and delaying the videos as well. That was another thing that made things take a while, so we’re pretty relieved to have it finally come out.”

Carpathia is a tidy 40 minutes that follows up 2019’s Nocturnal Gates. That album, too, kept things brief, clocking in at just on half an hour. It’s standard practice for Freedom of Fear, but Walters does admit that the last album may have been a little too short.

“The last album was a bit short for some people,” he admits, before explaining why he likes to keep things trim. “I get pretty hard on riffs that I think are boring, because I have to play them heaps. I try to cut off anything that I don’t really like, and by the time you demo everything … by then if you’re getting sick of something, other people would be getting sick of it too. I’m glad that it comes across as compact, because we don’t want to have filler in there if possible. Our style of music is pretty hectic, so I think it would be pretty tiring listening to more than forty minutes of tech-death.”

I get pretty hard on riffs that I think are boring, because I have to play them heaps. I try to cut off anything that I don’t really like, and by the time you demo everything … by then if you’re getting sick of something, other people would be getting sick of it too.
[ Matt Walters ]

Liam Weedall of Hadal Maw and Dyssidia is currently acting as Freedom of Fear’s drummer, but the tracks on Carpathia were recorded by German technician Hannes Grossmann. Grossmann recently toured Australia with Triptykon and his previous credits include Hate Eternal, Obscura and Necrophagist, all bands that have set standards for technical death metal. 

“We didn’t have a drummer, so I thought, ‘Why not have Hannes on the album, if he’s interested? Then we’d have sick drums and it would set the bar for anyone else who wants to join the band’. He was keen to do it and we just communicated over Zoom and things like that, and it was pretty smooth.”

Working with Grossmann turned out to be “more efficient than if he was in the same country,” Walters says, as the drummer and the band exchanged notes and tracks in overnight exchanges.

“I would wake up and have the drum tracks that he’d recorded that day in the inbox. I would send them to the band to see what everyone reckoned and send notes back that night, and he would do more recording while we were asleep.”

Along with a feast of sweep picking, face-shredding solos, torrential drumming, bowel-quaking breakdowns and Jade Monserrat’s astonishing vocals, Carpathia also displays a remarkable diversity of styles, drawing on influences from Gothic and symphonic black metal and thrash to expand Freedom of Fear’s musical palette. It’s a case of letting ideas work themselves out to see where – or if – they fit within the framework.

“Sometimes I get worried there’s too much different stuff happening,” the guitarist admits, “but I’ve always enjoyed listening to older bands like Led Zeppelin where there was lots of different sounding songs on them but they still sound like Led Zeppelin, even when they have a blues song and then a folk song, and stuff like that. Personally I enjoy that, because it adds some variation to things, rather than it just being the same. It also makes it more challenging to bring it together and make it feel like one album. Metal albums are usually more homogenous than classic rock albums. It’s a challenge to do the style mixing, and I think it’s a little risky sometimes, but it also makes it more interesting for us and the fans.” 

The next step for Freedom of Fear is a national tour, starting in Brisbane on November 24.

“We’re touring the east coast with Xenobiotic and Remission. We’re pretty busy for the rest of the year and then we’ll see what happens, but we’re planning on just playing as much as we can.”

They are also keen to start writing more too. While Carpathia is very new for most, the band has already been living with its songs since 2020. 

“Even though the album is new, it feels like old songs to us because it took so long to release it,” Walters says. “Because we couldn’t release those tunes, it took me a bit longer to start writing again as I was still half in the mindset of Carpathia. So once that was out, it was easier to let go of it, so the writing of new stuff is probably slower than it would have been if the album was released a year ago. Happily it’s just naturally been happening. I haven’t thought, ‘Oh I’ve got to start writing.’ Corey’s been writing a few riffs too, so it’s starting to happen.” 

Purchase and stream here.

freedom of fear hysteria

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