You can say this for Fernwah — they’re proof that some metal musicians can wrestle almost any sonic python that springs at them. While most of The Pit’s readers probably know band svengali Zakk Mild as the guitarist for New Jersey death metal gore-beasts Oxalate and blackened sludge crew Huldra, they’ll be surprised to see the role that he plays in this new two-man project. Not that Fernwah doesn’t involve plenty of Zakk’s adventurous, throttling riffs, only that it takes them in a direction that’s less low-end-carnage and more MK Ultra than some fans might be ready for. It’s an ambitious move for an already accomplished player who could have simply dug deeper into one scene and instead decided to craft one all his own. Take a look at this cover art and tell us we’re wrong.
Fernwah’s video for their new single “Vertigo of Freedom (Individuality Rendered)” from their upcoming EP Approaching Oblivion feels like a pretty solid visual representation of the band’s sound and general aesthetic. Created by Zakk and Mind Decay Productions, the video takes viewers on a stock-footage journey that’s beautifully edited to showcase a side of humanity that most people don’t want to see. But what really drives the video is the track, with its staccato rhythms, swelling synths, and crackling-yet-slippery guitar work. Seeing the juxtaposition between the military industrial complex and crocodiles taking down water buffalo is jarring and powerful; seeing footage of these two spectacles backed by rubber-footed stoner-friendly fuzz metal really takes things to a powerful subliminal level. The samples of Phillip K. Dick and Harlan Ellison laid over the track only add new literary depth to the bombastic track.
Check out our exclusive premiere of Fernwah’s “Vertigo of Freedom (Individuality Rendered)” below:
Fernwah’s upcoming debut Approaching Oblivion is currently in the works, so keep your eyes peeled (though heads up, with this band’s visuals they might bleed) for more new stuff from this duo in the near future.
Words by Chris Krovatin