Fear of Domination, shortly as FoD, is a shock metal band from Finland and is notorious for its energetic approach and impressive visual performances.
The band was originally founded in Finland in 2006 by Saku Solin (voc), Jan-Erik Kari (gtr) and Jaakko Arteli (drums 2006-2010). They were joined early on by guitarist Marko Salmikangas, who played lead guitar for a year, and Lauri Ojanen (bass). It was Ojanen who suggested Fear of Domination as the band name, and so FoD was born. This early incarnation of the band was extremely different in every way than the current line up.
In these early days the band managed to get a handful of shows and started to generate some positive feedback at local contests/events. But in 2007 the band lost their lead guitarist Salmikangas and continued as a four piece for the rest of the year until Johannes Niemi took over the role. Now that childhood friends Niemi, Solin, and Ojanen were reunited the band was able to establish a clearer vision of what they wanted to achieve, and where they wanted to go.
Initial material now started to solidify and a demo version of “Fear of Domination” was created. Although the group was coming together it was felt that something was “missing from the mix” and so began the search for a new member. Enter keyboardist Niina Telén (2008-2011), whose vocals also augmented many songs adding variation and range to the material. Now began a period of composing and rehearsing until the band were ready to hit the studio. D-Studio in Klaukkala was chosen as the location to record all of the older songs plus some more recent offerings until a 9-track disk was completed of original pure FoD material.
MC Raaka Pee from a band called Turmion Kätilöt signed FoD to his Osasto A-records and finally FoD released their debut album by the name of “Call of Schizophrenia” in 2009. With the release of the debut album, FoD were now comfortable and confident enough to began the process of formulating their own “sound”, a somewhat melodic metal with strong grunt vocals, punctuated with a mix of elegant female vocal parts and electronic sounds.
This debut album brought many new shows for FoD around Finland including Tuska festival, after-party, and supporting Deathstars (Swe) on their Finland tour in 2010. After the Deathstars tour, in the beginning of 2010, FoD started to make demos for the next upcoming album and recorded a small EP including songs like “Coma” and “Modify”. However, the EP was never released because in the summer of 2010 the band instead decided to start recording on the second full album. However, just before entering the studio to begin recording, Jaakko Arteli left the group. A difference in artistic goals between Artelli and the band was cited as the cause of the split, and an amicable separation was agreed.
Percussion responsibilities were immediately covered very capably by Vesa Ahlroth (drums). Ahlroth had already been helping FoD as a drum tech in the past and had filled in for the recently departed Arteli a couple of times when he was unable to play. And so, the change was a smooth and natural progression which didn’t cause any disruption. Ahlroth’s talent and familiarity with the band members and material meant recording of the second album “Create.Control.Exterminate” could begin in earnest without having to wait for any dust to settle on Arteli’s abandoned drum stool.
There were some major difficulties with producing and publishing of the second album but it was finally released in 2011 and started to grab the attention of some of the more major media connections in Finland and the EU. Notably the single “Pandemonium” from the album was the most downloaded song on Finland’s biggest rock radio store. Additionally, songs like “Tool of God” and “Control Within” wrought havoc in Finland’s, and more importantly, Europe’s metal scene.
For a while things ran smoothly and FoD’s ambition for a bigger and more visually stunning live-show kept on growing.
The philosophy of the band was to give the audience a well rounded real show, and not just a standard gig. However, a major problem was that most local venues were too small and the paychecks were insufficient to cover the cost of a larger show.
Fortunately at this time Matti Remes stepped in to take care of promotion and management, which really helped FoD to find its place in an evermore difficult Finnish metal music scene.
Before long the band acquired another highly important crew member, when Papa Wilska joined as sound technician. Wilska took the sound of the live shows to a whole new level and the youngsters learned lots of valuable tips from this hard-boiled musician, predominantly what it really means to play in a band. Even to this day FoD still consults with Wilska when tour planning. It was around this time the whole band, crew and closer supporters started to form a tight knit group which is nowadays called the “FoD family” because of the team spirit which dwells inside of this ever-growing group.
FoD continued to perform live and word started to spread around Finland even more that this was an act with a difference. Sadly as the band’s profile got bigger, Niina couldn’t keep the pace because of her studies, and thus in spring 2012 FoD and Niina decided together, that it was mutually beneficial that she focuses all her efforts into her studies, and FoD started looking for a new keyboard player. This search didn’t take long though when FoD discovered Lasse, the mastermind of synths and programming, and asked for him to join up. Lasse had been on the road a few times with FoD as a helping hand and merchandise seller and the band agreed that he would definitely be a good choice. Lasse gave the offer a lot of thought before joining the band, knowing that being part of FoD was a serious commitment, and happily decided that he wanted to be a part of FoD.
So FoD was once again complete with six members and the music and the show got a fresh new perspective. After all these little changes in the line-up done, FoD could now put the focus back onto the shows and made some big performances in Myötätuulirock 2012 and soon after that a little tour with Swedish “Mass Murder Agenda” in Finland and in Sweden. During that tour FoD again acquired new members for the family as Pyrostar wanted to start to promote and help FoD in their ambitious hunger for bigger shows. A noteworthy mention has to be to Helena Haaparanta who sang female vocals during Myötätuulirock and her performance provided that little something extra to the show and the music. Also a very skillful light-technician at Kuopio’s Henry’s Pub came onto the FoD radar. Her passion for lighting and making the show “look good” was phenomenal, so FoD understood that having that kind of person in the crew would be a real asset. Hanna Niskanen gladly joined the family and the shows continued to grow in stature and ambition.
In 2013 FoD started to pre-produce new songs for an up-coming album at D-studio with producer Jarno Hänninen. Hit single “Paperdoll” came out in the spring and again managed to generate lots of new hype focused on the band profile. Media and audiences seemed to genuinely enjoy the new single. A number of gigs during the time of album pre-productions road tested some of the new material and the single “Paperdoll” instantly became an obvious winner.
During the summer of 2013 FoD closed off the outside world and entered D-studio to start to record the new album. In the studio many new ideas were tested and Helena coached and produced Saku’s vocals, which raised the bar to a new level. By the end of summer 2013 the guys were able to say for the first time ever that they had enough time, skill, budget and people to make their album the way it should be done. As the mixing and fixing the album started, the whole band was really satisfied with their creation.
During the Autumn of 2013 FoD released yet another single “Legion” with their first real music video and again that single was a relatively big success. They also had a little tour in Finland with Russian XE-None which brought a bunch of new fans and prepared Finland for the up-coming, groundbreaking album “Distorted Delusions”. Around the same time Ismo Korhonen from the NEM-Agency noticed this rising star and booked FoD to their roster. Finally FoD had a booking agency, a whole crew and family behind them; a motivated and well trained band; and a whole new show planned for the next year.
In February 2014 the moment finally arrived and “Distorted Delusions” came out getting numerous top reviews and very good feedback from audiences, media, and colleagues alike. FoD also started their “Double D-tour” which contained many shows around Finland with them headlining the night. During the tour the performances grew even bigger as the whole crew now contributed something to the show.
Summer 2014 and FoD brought their show to a whole new level again at Nummirock where the whole crowd was stunned and thrilled because of the music and fire-hot show. UV-lights, pyrotechnics, featured artists, random moments, freaky figures, custom-made lights, theatrical elements and the list goes on. In fall 2014 FoD had its first European tour.
Album “Atlas” was released on May, 6th of 2016. As a composition “Atlas” went in a slightly different direction from past albums in terms of atmosphere as there’s often a sense of darkness that wasn’t always tangible on “Distorted Delusions”. The making process took a while because it weaved around the ambitious idea of a tribe in a post-apocalyptic setting and how the band would portray that both musically and lyrically. This meant lot of orchestrations and rhythmic electronics combined with huge metal band sound. The songs lyrics deal mostly with the struggles within and the pressure and burdens the band members had to face in their lives. In that sense the title of the album ”Atlas” brings this all together.
It’s no wonder that the media and audiences have started to call FoD “Industrial Shock Metal”. FoD is actively looking for new promoters, collaborators and companies to help them spread this “freak show” all around the world. The band is ready and they have millions of ideas for the shows and they are eager to reveal them to the rest of the world!