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The Ocean drummer announces his full-length solo debut as Fern

The Ocean drummer Paul Seidel as Fern against a red filter
(Image credit: Press)

The Ocean's drummer Paul Seidel is to release his first solo album, Intersubjective, through Pelagic on September 30. The 10-track experimental record will be issued under the name of Fern – lead single Hyperreal, a version of which was previewed in a 2020 livestream, will be available to stream online from August 8.

But anyone expecting a collection of progressive metal anthems akin to The Ocean's two-part Phanerozoic concept album is in for a shock. Building on the progressive pop of his 2017 Fern EP, Berlin-based Seidel has swapped djent riffs and drum solos for haunting synths, ambient soundscapes and melodic vocals. It's already earned him comparisons to Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails and even Björk.

Many of the track titles also appear to have been inspired by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard. Says the drummer, “These songs are an invitation to explore human identity in this rapidly digitised world we live in. It’s necessary sometimes to be still and gain experience of your self in order to make more meaningful experiences of, and with others. Like in meditation, it’s a process of letting go off constant thought and impression in order to learn about your inner workings.” 

Pre-save Hyperreal on Spotify to get an early taste of the drummer's latest solo work. Album pre-orders open on August 3.

Buy the latest issue of Prog Magazine (opens in new tab).

Fern vinyl for Intersubjective

(Image credit: Pelagic)

Intersubjective Tracklisting

1 Առաջանալ (feat. Hayk Karoyi)
2 Simulacrum
3 Hyperreal
4 Exnomination (feat. SHRVL)
5 Rupture
6 I Am Transient
7 Intersubjective
8 Shadows
9 Emergence
10 Afterlife

Natasha Scharf
Natasha Scharf

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.