Genre: Heavy Psych, Post-Metal
Sounds Like: Elder, ASG, Torche
What makes Falling Fathoms elite and sit atop OHMs Peak?
The foursome from Ohio have delivered one of the most cathartic and melodic Post-stoner rock albums to bless our ears this year
Deeply rooted hooks and virtuosic fretwork will accompany you throughout your hike and love of the beautiful outdoors
The album cover compliments the music to a tee with waves of heavy psych and touches of ominous post-doom
The harmonizing vocals between Dan and Jeff is superb. They bring a calming feel to the album. It's a hard task to pull off in metal, only a few bands come to mind who accomplish this (Alice In Chains, King's X to name a couple)
1. In Waves 11:19
2. Falling Fathoms 8:10
3. Controlled Burn 10:33
4. Relief 7:12
5. Black Stars 12:32
Dive deeper into Falling Fathoms with our Q&A with Slow Wake
OHMs Peak: Can you provide us some insight behind the Falling Fathoms album name?
Slow Wake: Dan (Vocals, Guitar, Synth): That came from the song “Falling Fathoms”. I’m pretty sure that was the first song I finished, lyrically. When we were writing the songs that became the album, we were very much still trying to figure out our identity as a band. For myself, beyond just the riffs it was also ‘what am I going to sing about?’. I was in a pretty dark place, but I didn’t want to just vomit my anger and fear, etc at our potential listeners. I wanted something artful, evocative, poetic even. As they emerged, all of the lyrics are pretty dark. Lots of anger and death in there. But lots of beauty and even triumph is present in the music. We discussed naming the album “Controlled Burn”, we knew we wanted it as a single and had started concepting a video, but I really felt that really only spoke of heat and anger and destruction. Falling through fathoms of water, perhaps even to your own death, there’s a feeling of peace, even beauty. Drifting slowly through crystal blue waters, edging more and more towards quiet, black oblivion.
OHMs Peak: Your music delivers such an uplifting heavy psych and outdoor feel. Are there certain locations or settings that inspire your creation?
Slow Wake: Joe (Bass, Synth): There is a definite feeling around growing up and living near Lake Erie here in Ohio. I wouldn’t say all the music we make is directly influenced by this location - it’s really just kind of ingrained in someone who lives near it and visits its shores often. There are a lot of great stories about shipwrecks and events that happened there. The most famous song about the power of the Great Lakes (of which Erie is a part of) is Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.
Dan: For “In Waves” I stand on a vast windy, alien plane before a Silver Door with a lush jungle piling beyond it. “Falling Fathoms” I’m sinking into a deep blue ocean that is raging above me. “Controlled Burn” I am in a burning house, as it starts to collapse around me and the smoke closes in it shrinks and gets claustrophobic. “Relief” I stand on a strip of silver sandy beach in front of a massive craggy cliff studded with twisted evergreens while yellow clouds streak a blue-white sky. “Black Stars” I stand on a vast and ruddy plain. In the far, far distance a huge and unevenly serrated stone wall stretches across the entire horizon, The sky above is shimmering white pierced by jet black stars that shine with an oily radiance. That’s exactly the imagery I had in mind when writing the lyrics and it’s really stuck with me.
OHMs Peak: The dual vocals emanate with clean and inviting tones with natural harmonies. Can you provide how this came about?
Slow Wake: Joe: I don’t remember if this came about during the recording of the album, or if it happened at a rehearsal, but Jeff(Drums) tried out some harmonies and backing vox to a few parts of the songs - and it just fit and worked just as you hear it. I personally feel proud that those two also do this live without using pre-recorded audio tracks.
Dan: We started it during rehearsals. As I was developing the rhythms and melodies of the lyrics I knew there were going to be parts where I wanted more voices involved. “Controlled Burn” and “Falling Fathoms” were the first songs I had finished and to me there were obvious points where a second voice was going to give the perfect amount of additional heft. Matt and Joe both claim to not be able to sing (we’ll see about that in the long run..) but Jeff volunteered that he could so we gave it a whirl. Spoiler alert: he can in fact sing, on key, while drumming. Also, during the recording of the album he took the reins on a few parts and added his own harmonies - beyond what we were already doing.
Jeff (Drums, Vocals, Samples): When thinking of the harmonies for the vocal lines, I tried to live somewhere between the guitar riffs and Dan’s vocals. I tried some diatonic thirds and the typical stuff but it didn’t seem to sit with the music the way that either a static note or a melody that followed the riff did. It also came down to what I was able to sing while I was playing!
OHMs Peak: The album art portrays the music perfectly. Can you give us a glimpse into how it was created?
Slow Wake: Joe: I created the album art from photographs of stormy seas. We felt that the ominous power of nature captured the feel of the music. The twin sun imagery comes from the song “Black Stars”, featuring elements of “The King in Yellow” by Robert Chambers. The cursed city of Carcosa sits on Lake Hali, either on another planet or in another dimension. In the sky overhead are twin suns. We take that imagery as prophetic and ominous, and the thought that something is not quite right or unnatural.
OHMs Peak: Falling Fathoms is a terrific debut album. You guys have raised the bar early in your career. Any insights to future plans of the band?
Slow Wake: Joe: First of all, we really appreciate that sentiment - we always want to know how people are reacting to the album. As of right now, we are working on several new songs, written since the release of “Falling Fathoms” in June. The idea is to have another group of songs ready to record this spring (2024) as a follow up album. Beyond that, we are playing live alongside other up-and-coming bands, and stage-testing new songs when we have them. Our main goal right now is the continued development of our “sound” and a continued progression from “Falling Fathoms”.
Dan: As we’re writing these new songs, I spend a lot of time thinking about how we create a consistency that we can call ‘our sound’ without repeating ourselves. The first batch of songs, which became “Falling Fathoms” was created almost instinctively, very much a ‘well, let’s do that and see what happens’ kind of mentality. Now that we’re getting such positive responses we’re all being much more intentional in what we’re writing. It definitely makes it harder, but it is fun discussing how we’re gonna Slow Wake-ify certain riffs.
Jeff: I think that we write music that we would want to hear. For the first album, we had countless moments where we would play a song or section of a song for the first time and know that we had just raised the bar from where it previously was. As we write the next batch, we’re chasing that feeling of creating something that pushes us as musicians, but also appeals to what we call the “cave man” mentality of just writing something that rocks and figuring out the pretty stuff later.
OHMs Peak: Slow Wake is stranded on an island with only a solar powered record player. The entire band must agree to only 1 album to have during your stay... what album is it?
Slow Wake: Joe: My vote is YOB, Clearing the Path to Ascend. Perfection from start to finish, ending on “Marrow”, one of the greatest songs ever recorded.
Dan: Joe, I’d stay on that island with you as long as you don't mind me ugly crying during “Marrow”.
Slow Wake are:
Jeff Larch - Drums, Backing Vocals
Matthew Merchant - Guitar, Guitar Synth
Dan Simone - Vocals, Guitar, Guitar Synth
Joe Fortunato - Bass, Bass Synth
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