Dominick Fernow

Last updated
Dominick Fernow
Prurient performing live in 2007
Background information
Birth nameDominick Fernow
Also known as
  • Prurient
  • Vatican Shadow
  • Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement
Origin Wisconsin, US
  • Musician
  • poet
  • multimedia artist
Instruments Amplifier, microphone, drums, vocals, synthesizer
Years active1998–present
Associated acts Cold Cave

Dominick Fernow [1] is an American experimental musician, poet and multimedia artist. He is best known for extreme music released under the stage name Prurient, as well as numerous other aliases including Vatican Shadow and Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement. [2] His first releases date back to 1998, the same year in which he founded the record label Hospital Productions.

Experimental music is a general label for any music that pushes existing boundaries and genre definitions. Experimental compositional practice is defined broadly by exploratory sensibilites radically opposed to, and questioning of, institutionalized compositional, performing, and aesthetic conventions in music. Elements of experimental music include indeterminate music, in which the composer introduces the elements of chance or unpredictability with regard to either the composition or its performance. Artists may also approach a hybrid of disparate styles or incorporate unorthodox and unique elements.

Hospital Productions is an American record label founded in 1998 by Dominick Fernow, commonly known as Prurient.



Fernow was born in Wisconsin into a Roman Catholic household. [3] [4] Fernow recounts his entrance into public school and his exposure to death metal and tape trading as early sources of musical interest. [4] In particular, Fernow cites the death metal band Deicide's album Once Upon the Cross as, "frightening ... A huge record for me, still to this day." [4]

Wisconsin A north-central state of the United States of America

Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 23rd largest state by total area and the 20th most populous. The state capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state is divided into 72 counties.

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, religion, occultism, Lovecraftian horror, nature, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, science fiction, and politics, and they may describe extreme acts, including mutilation, dissection, torture, rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia.

Tape trading is an unofficial method of distribution of musical or video content through the postal system, which was prominent in the 1980s and 1990s. Although most commonly used to distribute and publicize limited-release musical demo tapes in underground musical genres such as punk, hardcore, and extreme metal, the system has also been used to distribute bootleg recordings of live concerts, recordings of radio broadcasts, original radio-style programming by amateur broadcasters, and videotapes of underground films.

Fernow has resided in both New York City and Los Angeles, [3] and runs the labels Hospital Productions and Bed Of Nails. [5]

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.


In his early work as Prurient, Fernow worked primarily with a microphone and amplifier, and sometimes drums. He eventually began utilizing more electronics, and currently works primarily with laptop and synthesizers. In the past, he collaborated with artists like John Wiese, Jeff Plummer (of Immaculate:Grotesque and Shallow Waters), Kris Lapke (of Alberich and MCMS), Wolf Eyes, Macronympha, and Philip Best (of Whitehouse and Consumer Electronics). [6]

Microphone a device that converts sound into an electrical signal

A microphone, colloquially nicknamed mic or mike, is a transducer that converts sound into an electrical signal. Microphones are used in many applications such as telephones, hearing aids, public address systems for concert halls and public events, motion picture production, live and recorded audio engineering, sound recording, two-way radios, megaphones, radio and television broadcasting, and in computers for recording voice, speech recognition, VoIP, and for non-acoustic purposes such as ultrasonic sensors or knock sensors.

Amplifier electronic device that can increase the power of a signal

An amplifier, electronic amplifier or (informally) amp is an electronic device that can increase the power of a signal. It is a two-port electronic circuit that uses electric power from a power supply to increase the amplitude of a signal applied to its input terminals, producing a proportionally greater amplitude signal at its output. The amount of amplification provided by an amplifier is measured by its gain: the ratio of output voltage, current, or power to input. An amplifier is a circuit that has a power gain greater than one.

Wolf Eyes American band

Wolf Eyes is an American experimental music group from Detroit, Michigan, formed in 1996 by Nate Young. Currently a duo, Wolf Eyes are a prominent act within contemporary noise music. They have collaborated with a variety of artists from different countries and art forms.

Fernow has also performed in various bands, such as Football Rabbit, Vegas Martyrs, Taylor Bow, Ash Pool (in which he also sings), and formerly as part of Cold Cave. [7] Prurient has released material on numerous independent record labels, such as Hanson Records, RRRecords, Load Records, Troubleman Unlimited, Chrondritic Sound, Kitty Play Records, American Tapes, and his own label Hospital Productions. Fernow has also recorded music under a variety of aliases, including Vatican Shadow, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, Exploring Jezebel, River Magic, Winter Soldier, Window Cleaning By Ian, December Magic, and Tortured Hooker.

Vegas Martyrs is black metal noise music band featuring Dominick Fernow better known as Prurient on guitar, Richard Dunn (FFH) on vocals & electronics and Joe Potts on drums. They have released records and cassettes on Hospital Productions, Kitty Play Records, and Troubleman Unlimited.

Cold Cave

Cold Cave is the moniker for the music of Wesley Eisold based in Los Angeles and New York City whose music is described as a "collage of darkwave, noise, and synthpop". A number of reviewers note the affinity with early 1980's post-punk and early synthpop, in particular Joy Division.

Hanson Records

Hanson Records is an American independent record label founded in Brighton, Michigan and now based in Oberlin, Ohio. It is operated by the musician Aaron Dilloway, formerly of the band Wolf Eyes.

Prurient has been covered in outlets such as The New Yorker, Pitchfork Media [8] and The Village Voice. [9]

<i>The New Yorker</i> Magazine on politics, social issues, art, humor, and culture, based in New York City

The New Yorker is an American magazine featuring journalism, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry. Started as a weekly in 1925, the magazine is now published 47 times annually, with five of these issues covering two-week spans. Although its reviews and events listings often focus on the cultural life of New York City, The New Yorker has a wide audience outside New York and is read internationally. It is well known for its illustrated and often topical covers, its commentaries on popular culture and eccentric Americana, its attention to modern fiction by the inclusion of short stories and literary reviews, its rigorous fact checking and copy editing, its journalism on politics and social issues, and its single-panel cartoons sprinkled throughout each issue.

<i>The Village Voice</i> American weekly newspaper

The Village Voice was an American news and culture paper, known for being the country's first alternative newsweekly. Founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, John Wilcock, and Norman Mailer, the Voice began as a platform for the creative community of New York City. It still is kept alive online.

Partial discography

As Prurient

1998A Simple Mark Hospital Productions Cassette
Blades Steam Red Sweat, Inside The Things I DreadCD-R
Persistence Beeshu Records Cassettesplit with Potassium Cyanide Dogbane Sentiment
1999A Call For Help Hospital Productions
Prurient / Jon Borgessplit with Jon Borges
2000Collaboration Let It Rot CDwith Richard Ramirez & Flatline Construct
Mundane Ninth Circle Music CD-Rsplit with Sickness
Noise Split Tape Vol. 1 Brainchaos Cassettesplit with Echo System
Ornamentation Zaftig Research CD-Rcollaboration with Goose
Point And Void Hospital Productions 2xCassette
2001Arbitrary Witness Deadline Recordings 2xCassette
Body Language Peel Back the Sky LP
Collaboration Hospital Productions CDwith Diagram A and Furisubi
Guide to Grooming Monorail Trespassing Cassette
Hunt in Couples Hospital Productions, Anti-Everything 7"split with ASD
Magnified Healing Hospital Productions, T.E.F. CDsplit with T.E.F. & Richard Ramirez
Mater Dolorosa Hospital Productions CD
Mummification and PrayerCassette
White Plains Leather: Black River FallsCassette
Valve Testing Electronic Musik Compilation: 1 track:Pastune as Well
2002Live Prayer Electronic Musik 3", CD-R
Something Terrible Has Happened and I Need Your Help Monorail Trespassing Cassette
The History of Aids Hospital Productions/Armageddon CD
2003Recycled Music RRRecords Cassette
Troubled Sleep Truculent Recordings CD
We Set off in High Spirits Gods of Tundra Cassette
200460 Minutes of Silence American Tapes Cassette
Fossil Truculent Recordings CD
Red Head RRRecords Cassettewith Pedestrial Deposit
Shipwreckers Diary Ground Fault CD
Starvation Hospital Productions Cassette
Sexual Magic2xCassette
The Hidden Family/+White+ Load Records 12"/CDwith Kites
White Magic Hospital Productions Cassette
2005African Division Hospital Productions Cassette
Akitsa / PrurientCassettesplit with Akitsa
Black Vase Load Records CD/LP
Church of Ammunition Troubleman Unlimited Records 7"
Devil In Broad Daylight Chondritic Sound 2xCassette
Disappearance Of The Maya Hospital Productions 4xCassettesplit with Aaron Dilloway
In The Slaughterhouse7"
Love and RomanceLPsplit with Nicole 12
Macronympha + Prurient / Okha Dada Drumming 12"split with Macronympha and Okha
The Baron's Chamber Nihilist Records CD
The Warriors Hospital Productions/Gods of Tundra CD/LPsplit with Wolf Eyes
Vegas Martyrs - Choking Doberman Kitty Play Records 7"
2006Cloven Spike Hospital Productions 7"with John Wiese
Grunt / Prurient Freak Animal Records Cassettesplit with Grunt
Heavy Rain Returns iDEAL Recordings CDwith Carlos Giffoni
Memory Repeating AA Records 7"
Pleasure Ground Load Records CD
Point and Void Ninth Circle Music CD
Snail on a Razor Hospital Productions CD
2007All Are Guests in the House of the Lord Hospital Productions Cassette/CDwith Kevin Drumm
Caribbean OverdoseCassetteedition of 200
Cave Depression No Fun Productions 3x7"
Cocaine Death Hospital Productions Cassetteedition of 46
Colonialist Nature And Misanthropy2xCassette
Golden SwastikaCassette
Prurient Hanson Records LP
Split Important Records with Mindflayer
Taylor Bow - Hate Fuck Hospital Productions 7"
Terminal Cases aRCHIVE recordings 2x3" CDsplit with Death Unit
The Golden Chamber Hospital Productions Cassette
2008And Still, Wanting No Fun Productions CD + Shield 5"
Arrowhead Mego CD
End Of Autumn Troubleman Unlimited 2xLPsplit with Sutcliffe Jügend
Ghosts Of Niagara Hospital Productions 10xCasssplit with Burning Star Core
Tylenol MurdersCassetteedition of 20
Cocaine DeathCD
Time Began in a Garden2xCassette, C10 + Boxedition of 100
The Black Post Society Cold Spring Records CD
2009Blood of the Lamb BloodLust! LPsplit with Wilt ( edition of 100)
Palm Tree Corpse Hospital Productions 3xCassette/LP
Roman Harbinger Sound LP
Rose Pillar Heartworm Press 11"with book (edition of 500)
Stars Explode Hospital Productions Cassette/LPwith Cold Cave
The Complete Kingdom Recordings The Institute For Organic Conversations 4xCassettesplit with Wilt
2010Jesus Hospital Productions 2xCassettesplit with Nico Vascellari
2011Annihilationist Hospital Productions Cassette
Many Jewels Surround the Crown Hydra Head 7"
Bermuda Drain CD/LP/Cassette
Time's Arrow EP
Stun Gun Quasi Pop Records 7"
Despiritualized Hospital Productions Cassette
2012Of The Memories Of Friends Hospital Productions 2xCassette
Tiger Smells A Corpse3xCassette
Wrapped in the Flame of Illusion, Masked in the Clay of Behavior Dais Records 2x7"
Worship is the Cleansing of the Imagination Hydra Head 12"split with JK Flesh
2013 Through the Window Blackest Ever Black Cassette, Vinyl, CD
2014Washed Against The Rocks Handmade Birds 7"
2015 Frozen Niagara Falls Profound Lore 2CD/3xLP
Cocaine Daughter Hospital Productions Cassette
2016Unknown Rains Hospital Productions 2xLP
2017 Rainbow Mirror Profound Lore 4CD/7xLP
2019Garden Of The Mutilated Paratroopers Profound Lore 2CD/Cassette

As Vatican Shadow

Studio albums

2011Kneel Before Religious Icons Hospital Productions, Type RecordsCassette, Vinyl LP
Pakistan Military Academy Hospital Productions Cassette
2012Atta's Apartment Slated for DemolitionCassette, Digital
Ghosts of ChechnyaCassette, Digital
Ornamented WallsModern Love RecordsVinyl LP
2013Remember Your Black Day Hospital Productions CD, Vinyl LP
2014Games Have RulesCD, Vinyl LPwith Function
2016Media in the Service of TerrorDigital, Cassette

EPs and singles

2010Byzantine Private CIA Hospital Productions Cassette4-tracks EP
2011Washington Buries Al Qaeda Leader at Sea - Deck 1Cassette2-tracks single
Washington Buries Al Qaeda Leader at Sea - Deck 2Cassette2-tracks single
Washington Buries Al Qaeda Leader at Sea - Deck 3Cassette2-tracks single
The Serpent Carries Him Back Into ParadiseCassette4-track split EP with Contrepoison (2 tracks each)
Mural of SaddamCassette3-tracks EP
Yemeni CommandosCassette2-tracks EP
2012Kuwaiti AirforceCassette2-tracks EP
Operation Neptune SpearCassette, Digital3-tracks EP
Iraqi Praetorian GuardVinyl 12"3-tracks EP
September CellVinyl 12"4-tracks EP
Jordanian DescentCassette2-tracks single
2013When You Are CrawlingDigital, CD, Vinyl 12"4-tracks EP
2014April SilencerDigital2-tracks EP
Easing of Our TaskDigital4-tracks EP
Elohim CityDigital3-tracks EP
Enduring MysteriesDigital3-tracks EP
FireballDigital3-tracks EP
Oklahoma Military AcademyDigital4-tracks EP
2017Luxor NecropoliticsDigital, Vinyl 2x10"5-tracks EP
Vatican Shadow / Ancient Methods - BunkerterrorDigital, Vinyl 2x10"2-tracks split with Ancient Methods
Rubbish of the FloodwatersOstgut TonDigital, Vinyl 12"3-tracks EP
2018Volta Forte Remixes Hospital Productions Digital2-tracks EP


2011Washington Buries Al Qaeda Leader At Sea: Decks 1-3 Hospital Productions Lossless Digital
2012It Stands to ConcealVinyl 12", DigitalCompilation of Jordanian Descent, Ghosts of Chechnya and Atta's Apartment Slated for Demolition
2014 Death Is Unity With God Hospital Productions, Modern Love RecordsCassette, Vinyl LP, CDCompilation of Fireball, Enduring Mysteries, Easing of Our Task, Oklahoma Military Academy, Elohim City and April Silencer

As Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement

Studio albums

  • Papua Land Where Spirits Still Rule (2012)
  • Folklore Venom (2013)
  • Green Graves (2016)
  • Ambient Black Magic (2017)


  • The Plant With Many Faces (2013)
  • Black Magic Cannot Cross Water (2013)
  • Water Rose Above The Head (2013)


  • Water Witches (2017)

As Christian Cosmos

Studio Albums

  • Enthronement by God as the First-Born of the Dead (2012)


  • Cadence Upon The Threshold Of Judgement (2012)
  • The Sharp Lines That Delineate His Robes (2012)
  • Which Echo Again and Again (2012)

As Exploring Jezebel

Studio Albums

  • On a Business Trip to London (2015)

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Macronympha is an American Noise music and power electronics group formed 1990 by Joseph Roemer and Rodger Stella in Pittsburgh, PA. Tim Oliveira (Stimbox) and Dominick Fernow (Prurient) have occasionally appeared on Macronympha recordings and live performances.

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<i>Frozen Niagara Falls</i> album by Prurient

Frozen Niagara Falls is a double album by the American musical project Prurient, the performing name of Dominick Fernow. It was released on May 12, 2015 through Profound Lore Records. Leading up to its official release date, Frozen Niagara Falls was promoted with online streams of "Dragonflies to Sew You Up" and "Greenpoint".

<i>Through the Window</i> 2013 studio album by Prurient

Through the Window is an album by the American music project Prurient, the performing name of the artist Dominick Fernow. The three-song album was released on March 19, 2013 through the English label Blackest Ever Black. Though released in 2013, the tracks for Through the Window were recorded in October 2011 at the same time as Prurient's two Hydra Head Records releases — the studio album Bermuda Drain (2011) and the EP Time's Arrow (2011) — and were noted for musically showing more techno influences, akin to one of Fernow's other projects, Vatican Shadow.

<i>Worship Is the Cleansing of the Imagination</i> 2012 studio album (split) by JK Flesh & Prurient

Worship Is the Cleansing of the Imagination is a split album between experimental musicians Dominic Fernow under the pseudonym Prurient and Justin Broadrick under the pseudonym JK Flesh. Released on vinyl on December 11, 2012, Worship Is the Cleansing of the Imagination was the final release of new material by Hydra Head Records, the label founded by former Isis member Aaron Turner.

<i>Bermuda Drain</i> 2011 studio album by Prurient

Bermuda Drain is a studio album by the American artist Prurient, the stage name of Dominick Fernow. The album was released on July 11, 2011 through Hydra Head Records, and was the first release from Prurient through the label. Prurient released a single for the opening track "Many Jewels Surround the Crown" for Record Store Day in 2011.

<i>Times Arrow</i> (EP) 2011 EP by Prurient

Time's Arrow is an EP by the American musical project Prurient, the performing name of the artist Dominick Fernow. It was released on October 25, 2011 through Hydra Head Records, and was described as "taking a bold step away from the sounds which drew attention his way in the formative years."

<i>Successor</i> (Dedekind Cut album) 2016 studio album by Dedekind Cut

Successor is the debut studio album by American experimental artist Fred Warmsley, under the alias Dedekind Cut. It was released on November 11, 2016 by NON Worldwide and Hospital Productions. The album features guest vocals from Active Child, as well as co-production from producer Al Carlson, notable for his work on Oneohtrix Point Never's Replica and St. Vincent's Marry Me.

<i>Rainbow Mirror</i> 2017 studio album by Prurient

Rainbow Mirror is a triple album by the American musical project Prurient, the performing name of the artist Dominick Fernow. It was released on December 1, 2017 through Profound Lore Records. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Prurient project, Rainbow Mirror was released as a 4xCD and as a 7xLP, which was distributed by Hospital Productions. This Hospital Productions release bundled Rainbow Mirror with a limited cassette version of Godflesh's 2017 album, Post Self. The 8-panel digipak version of the album includes a short story by Fernow and Scott Bryan Wilson.

<i>Death Is Unity With God</i> 2014 studio album by Vatican Shadow

Death Is Unity With God is a studio album by American experimental musician Dominick Fernow under one of his aliases, Vatican Shadow, released on May 31, 2014 as a cassette box set on Hospital Productions and later reissued as an album in February 2015 and on June 11, 2015 on Modern Love.

<i>Troubled Sleep</i> (album) 2003 studio album by Prurient

Troubled Sleep is a studio album by American experimental musician Dominick Fernow under his alias Prurient, released in September 2003 as a limited edition CD on Truculent Recordings.


  1. "Jean Feraca's Blog, host of Here On Earth – March 16–20 Programs". Jean Feraca . Retrieved 15 May 2017.
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  4. 1 2 3 Fernow, Dominick (October 2, 2015). "Musical Imbalance: An Interview with Prurient". Aux.Out (Interview). Interviewed by Andy O'Connor. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
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  6. Archived 2006-10-26 at the Wayback Machine Dead Link
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