The end of the days, the rapture, the apocalypse, whatever you want to call it. Since pretty much the dawn of time mankind has been more or less obsessed with the end of the world. It's an inevitable event that has spurred on and inspired uncountable artistic endeavours over the centuries. One such recent piece of art documenting the end of all things is The Cataclysm, the fantastic sophomore album from Kent based post-rock trio Coldbones.
An instrumental exploration of the natural ravaging of the Earth and the dying gasps of humankind, The Cataclysm is an instrumental epic that just mirrors the violence that nature is a capable off and the lamentation of a dying species.
To expand upon the album's narrative, drummer Max Parr got in touch to greatly expand upon the top three theories most influential to The Cataclysm.
What do you think of when you hear someone say conspiracy theories? JFK? Area 51? No wait, you’re definitely thinking of the flat earth theory, right?
What I can guarantee is that you’re definitely not thinking of The Flooding of the World and The Burning of the Earth that’s for sure. That’s okay, because they’re our theories.
Before I continue, I want to make a couple of things clear. Our album The Cataclysm is made up of two fictional events known as The Flooding of the World (Side A) and The Burning of the Earth (Side B). These events weren’t necessarily inspired by conspiracy theories, but more questioning why evidence presented by qualified faculty members of various universities and academic establishments has not been pursued further.
We were also inspired by works of fiction in the form of literature and actual past events, which for some reason, the vast majority of the world is unaware of.
Another thing I would like to highlight before starting is that I brought this concept to my band mates Nick (Suchak, Bass) and Jordy (Gilbert, Guitar) in the summer of 2018. They liked it and collectively we feel we have produced a fitting soundtrack to the world ending in the way see it happening. Again, this was decided almost two years ago and we feel this album couldn’t be released at a better time.
Look at what has happened in Australia and the current Covid-19 epidemic the world is facing. Three lads from Kent recognise it and dozens of qualified academics recognise. It’s time for those who walk this planet to recognise the world is changing - once again.
I would like to outline 3 very specific areas of inspiration for the album.
The Year Without Summer
In July of 1816, George Gordon Byron wrote a poem entitled ‘Darkness’. It’s also known as ‘The Last Man’ as it was thought to be depicting the story of the last man on Earth in a post apocalyptic world. Around the time of this event, a vast amount of authors saw it their duty, as prophets, to warn others of the event. The event in question was the eruption of Mount Tambora, Indonesia. The amount of sulphur cast from Tambora and sent into the atmosphere had a huge global effect. Temperatures plummeted and the ash cloud blocked out the sun. As the sun desperately tried to breakthrough, a dark orange/brown glow lit the sky above a deeply concerned and frightened North American and North European population. Candles were said to have been lit to light the way as early as midday and as the crops died, concern of survival amongst many grew.
Byron documented his experience whilst in Geneva. The release of his poem saw much criticism as it heavily eluded to events of an anti-biblical nature, leading many to question the existence of God.
highly encourage to read the poem and the many reports surrounding the events at the time. I’m sure Byron gave himself an almost unlimited amount of creative license, but that doesn’t change the fact that lives and history was changed forever. How was it dealt with? Well it wasn’t. 2010, almost 200 years later, makes this very apparent with the eruption of an Icelandic volcano. This time it only lasted for 6 days, but the American Aviation Industry was put on hold, causing mass disruption to a $12 billion industry.
Our interpretation of the poem features throughout The Burning of the Earth side of the album. We used excerpts of Byrons account of that grim event heavily in our track Extinct.
The Carrington Event
Two words. Solar Storm. Sounds cool right? It was the end of day’s for many.
In 1859, a solar storm caused by mass coronal ejection (basically the sun being disturbed and getting way too hot emitting an uncomprehending amount of heat and light) forced Auroras to cover the sky on a global scale.
How and what disturbs the sun in such a way? As far as I’m aware, geologists and astronomers still aren’t sure. Many hypothesis comets or fragments of giant comets impacted the sun forcing coronal mass ejection. I’m definitely onboard with that idea.
So these Auroras lit up the sky and confused the time of the day for many. You could clearly read a newspaper in the middle of night due to the brightness. Some Auroras shocked and frightened people and illustrations depict very large, stick men in the form of lightening bolts. Again, this could well come back down to the creative license humans give to themselves. We tend to get a bit carried away! BUT there is no denying that the illustrations recorded at the time of the Carrington event, can also be seen on the walls of caves, thousands of years prior. Has this happened before? I wouldn’t rule it out.
Interestingly enough, 1859 had it’s own social network. Relying heavily on the electrical grid in North America and Europe. The Telegraph System. This was highly impacted as the sun damaged the electric grid, rendering the system at times useless and ineffective. For a time, communication was halted. People couldn’t connect. Imagine that nowadays with the current human races reliance on the electric grid. Internet banking, social media, historical papers digitally archived to name a few - gone.
Again, is this something we can deal? Naturally we’ll just wait and see like we always do!
Apparently in 2012, Earth missed a solar storm exceeding the one I outlined in 1859 by a mere 9 days. Another warning ignored!
The Mystery of the Sphinx
The wonders and mystery that surrounds the study of Ancient Egypt is fascinating. We all learn about it at some stage in our academic lives through our teachers and to be honest, they’re probably just reading from a text book. You probably recall being taught about the pyramids, the Sphinx, the pharaohs and how they were mummified etc.
A massive inspiration and a huge part of the Flooding of the World side of our album derived from a theory surrounding the Sphinx. Ironically, one of the hottest and driest places on Earth inspired us to right 5 songs involving an incomprehensible amount of water!
I will keep this section relatively short as the information and evidence surround a hypothesis presented by the likes of Dr Robert Schoch, Randall Carlson and John Anthony West (to name a few) can get pretty heavy and overwhelming.
Basically, Dr Robert Schoch (a geologist) noticed some interesting markings on the rock the Sphinx was carved in to. Up until that point, several other Egyptologists and Geologists put the erosion on the Shyinx’s head and body down to wind and sand brushing and flowing past it for thousands of years. However, according to Dr Robert Schoch, the evidence suggests that this erosion is due to an overwhelming amount of water far greater than the average rainfall seen in those parts.
The last known evidence of a climate shift to this magnitude was at the end of the last ice age roughly 14,500 years ago. It was known as The Younger Dryas and saw hundreds and thousands of cubic tons of ice melt rapidly, flooding almost the entire surface of the earth.
This theory opened up an entire new field of research, but unfortunately for Dr Robert Schoch - at the expense of his credibility. He’s suggesting, along with many others, that the structures in ancient Egypt (and potentially others around the world) are far older than the conventional, modern day studies.
This opens up a world of issues in the academic world. Starting from the testing of carbon data in the soil of archeological sites, right down to the text books used in schools for decades.
The evidence presented by Dr Robert Schoch and many others could literally rewrite history. If he’s right and these megalithic sites are far older than we think, that means the human race is far older than we know. This evidence debunks the years and years of research from qualified and recognised academics, receiving honours and noticeable distinctions in their field of work entirely false. It’s a one man against the rest scenario and unfortunately it doesn’t hold up.
It’s incredibly interesting and I would love to see in my lifetime Dr Robert Schoch’s theory come to fruition and make its way into mainstream history as opposed to being classed as pseudoscience.
For now, the best I can do and the best we can do is write an album honouring this truly remarkable theory.
I highly recommend you researching all of the above further and come to your own conclusion surrounding how the world will inevitably end.