Gruesome Literary Inspiration Is “Leaking Out” from Fernwah’s Death Metal (Early Track Stream + Interview)
Lo and behold! The Necrosexual is honored to unveil this world premiere from Fernwah, a brand new progressive death metal project. Their first transmission, "Leaking Out/Dystheism," features the feral snarl of Sanguisugabogg's Devin Swank on guest vocal and lyrical duties.
Fernwah is a collaboration between multi-instrumentalist Zakk Mild, who plays guitar for New Jersey death metal dealers Oxalate, and drummer Peter Martin, who partakes in perverted grindcore rituals with Pink Mass.
In "Leaking Out/Dystheism," Fernwah showcases an emulsion of musical styles within its four minutes. Mild's bright and bouncy bass tones ring out crisply, a bit reminiscent to Tool. The guitar riffs jump between grungy, off-kilter arpeggios, to bludgeoning dissonant passages, with big funky grooves on the upbeats. Devin Swank narrates this far-reaching voyage with a visceral vocal clinic of equal parts hatred and disgust.
"Artistic restrictions by genre and category are limiting," Mild says. "Complete freedom, no genre restrictions or boundaries, is what I am aiming for."
Prior to Fernwah, Mild promoted concerts and festivals in the tri-state area at venues like Saint Vitus Bar in New York City. When the 2020 pandemic disrupted concerts, Mild shifted his focus from the stages to the pages. Specifically, the pages of horror and science fiction novels.
"I actually wrote one of the riffs after reading the Harlan Ellison story The Whimper of Whipped Dogs, which set the tone for the rest of the song," says Mild.
Fernwah's upcoming debut will be an EP entitled Approaching Oblivion, which takes its name from the science fiction collection by Harlan Ellison. Mild says he plans to release this EP by late spring or summer.
Mr. Mild's literary obsession has also produced a thriving book business, La Necrioteca, in the wake of the concert desert brought about by the coronavirus. La Necrioteca's Instagram page regularly boasts of titles ranging from Clive Barker to Grant Morrison, and a big chunk of cult classics in between.
"I lost both my jobs because of the coronavirus, and I had a large collection of books I’ve amassed over 20 years," Mild says. "I took all the manic energy I use to promote shows and book tours and playing shows, and converted it to market research on comings and goings of the online horror book market."
Many of the staff here at Invisible Oranges are worms to the written word and comic book cretins, so we asked Zakk Mild to elaborate on his reading suggestions via email interview.
What's one novel everyone should drop their shit right now to read?
I will say not a novel but a non-fiction book called Stony The Road by Henry Louis Gates Jr., which is all about the reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the rise of white supremacy in America. It’s a glossy-paged book with a lot of disturbing pictures of advertisements and other racist propaganda from the time period. I think every American should read it and at the minimum accept the shameful parts of our history and learn from them to create a better place for everyone, rather than ignore them.
Who's your favorite author?
I think Thomas Ligotti and his collections Songs of A Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe are probably my favorite. I was hypnotized by his Kafka, Poe, Lovecraft blend. So dark and so intelligent, and just downright scary.
What is the most heavy metal adjacent book you've read?
The Kill Riff By David J. Schow, about a guy whose daughter gets killed in a mosh pit. He goes on a killing spree hunting the band. It’s violent and action packed. And if you're familiar with the underground extreme music scene. then Schow's clear "Real One" status will shine through. Also, Skinzz by Wrath James White, who is one of my favorite modern horror authors. I’ll just quote the back of the book, because the plot is perfection. "The mosh-pits have become a warzone..."
What's the most haunting novel you ever read?
Not a novel, but a short story by Gwendolyn Kiste entitled The Clawfoot Requiem about two sisters and grief. It’s beautiful and haunting, and the writing is off the charts.
Who do you think is the most under-appreciated author, and why?
Probably Ramsey Campbell. Campbell has written every type of horror you can think of. His immaculate prose is unique to him and at its best can literally make you feel physically ill, NO JOKE. The Face That Must Die was probably one the best, and at the same time most uncomfortable reading experiences. Campbell also writes perfect short horror fiction. His collection Dark Companions is pretty much the definition of horror literature. I think the main thing that makes him so underrated is how he is a living conduit of horror history, reaching back to M.R. James and Algernon Blackwood right to present, incorporating everything, while being completely his own monster.
What's the meaning of your new band's name, Fernwah?
"Fernwah" is a play on a German word that means "far sickness." That longing to see and explore distant places, especially ones you have never seen. It’s the opposite of feeling homesick. As this was happening during coronavirus, I felt the name and meaning really related to me and how many people are feeling.
The Approaching Oblivion EP will release later this year. Keep tabs on Fernwah's Bandcamp page for more information.