Though we’re fortunate enough to live in a time where it’s no longer shocking to see female musicians slug-it-out in a predominantly male-populated collective like the underground metal scene, it’s still a jaw-dropping sight – and sonic experience – to behold when female heavy metal enthusiasts/players not just stomp an equal foot in the game but actually stomp harder than most of their contemporaries.

And Cavite-based FERMOSA is definitely a band to look out for this year, as they’ve been tirelessly working on fine-tuning both their studio and live performance game in the past months. The band – vocalist Shiela Zamora-Sanchez, bassist Richelle Rivadelo (who also plays bass for local metal legends BLOODSHEDD…), drummer Jaz Gonzales and guitarist Kat Vidal – released their debut single “Death To Tyrant” in July of 2022, and many were amazed to hear a myriad of underground metal stylings, complete with dizzying, groove-laden chugs, furious rhythmic dynamics and guttural growls, high-pitched screeches and enchantingly evil vocal melodies courtesy of Sanchez. By the end of the year, an obvious polishing and fine-tuning could be heard on their sophomore single “Interitus” which was a straightforward death-march that recalled the best-of-the-best of their influences, including Lamb of God, Arch Enemy, Born of Osiris and even Meshuggah  and August Burns Red.

PULP.PH was fortunate enough to catch the members of Fermosa during a rare moment of downtime…


PULP: So what’s new with Fermosa? How is the begining of 2023 so far?

Shiela: We recently released our newest single “Interitus,” and have plans on releasing a few more tracks this year. At the moment, we’re working on our first-ever music video and intend to launch it in a couple of months. We hope to finish an EP before the year ends, and at the same time, we’re accepting more gig invites in and out of the metro.

PULP:  Do tell us how the band was formed, and feel free to share the concept behind it…

Shiela: It’s funny how it started since it was quite unintentional… When our guitarist, Kat, posted one of her Arch Enemy guitar covers, I jokingly commented that I would do vocals for it – and that’s when one of our friends encouraged us to form an all-female band with Jaz, and we just thought, “Hey, why not?” That’s basically how the idea started. We had our first jam around December 2021 until Richelle joined us in early 2022 – and we just knew we had the perfect chemistry and lineup.

        “Fermosa” is a Galician word that means “beautiful.” We all just wanted to share our love and passion for metal music, as well as our appreciation for the tenebrosity of things, and express it beautifully as much as we could through songwriting and the instruments we play. Refuting stereotypes about women in metal was definitely one of the goals, we admit. We’ve been experimental in writing songs, incorporating our different influences from bands such as Lamb of God, Jinjer, Meshuggah, Spiritbox, and others, and we feel that the result of all that is a sort of death/groove, avant-garde, and atmospheric kind of metal…

        We never expected great feedback from the underground scene – it’s flattering; our debut gig was in early 2022, and it has inspired us and helped us thrive even more as far as creating dark and heavy music to share with our audiences is concerned…

PULP: It’s a rare thing to see an all-female metal band these days… was that always the plan from the get-go?

Jaz: Like we mentioned, there was never a plan to begin with! We just went with the encouragement, and it happened that we’re all females. So we’re very grateful to everyone who encouraged and supported us on this journey. Actually, we’ve all been involved in the local metal community for quite some time now, yet it never occurred to us that we’d be able to find like-minded female individuals in the same vicinity who we could play heavy music with… we’re lucky because even our collective sense of humor and sarcasm was pretty much on the same page, alongside our goals and plans with the material we plan to release and share.

PULP: The band’s first release “Death To Tyrant” was definitely sonically brutal, and your latest “Interitus” has that nice, foreboding march and groove to it. How is the writing and recording process like? How does it all begin?

Kat: Our compositions usually begin with guitar riffs… then we get together to add drums and bass, and structure the song into a more composed arrangement; then we pitch it to Shiela, who adds vocals and lyrics based on what she feels is the atmosphere the song is trying to evoke.

        Among many other factors, diversity is a constant in our songwriting process: we really aim to place a lot of significance on the structure of our songs – how the instruments work together to support one another, and how the music flows.

PULP: Are you writing material as you go, or are there more unreleased singles just waiting to see the light of day? Do you plan to release singles more frequently this 2023?

Kat: Yes – we do have unreleased singles! We have to admit that 2022 was a really busy year for us, but we also made sure to squeeze-in some time for songwriting and recording… We are planning to release a new single this March, and hopefully produce an EP within the year.

PULP: Any memorable shows you’ve done so far? And how has the acceptance of various audiences been?

Richelle: Since we released our first single, “Death to Tyrant,” we didn’t expect that we would get more invites in and out of the Metro… So far, the most memorable gig was our first out-of-town date in Naga City, Bicol last September of 2022: we were surprised by the warm reception we received from the audience, and thoroughly enjoyed our stay… The response is quite overwhelming; we never imagined getting positive feedback, especially from the metal scene, so we can’t wait to play more live shows and showcase our music – hopefully worldwide. PULP


For more info on releases and upcoming gigs, follow Fermosa here:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/FermosaBand

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4i2pCww5dWdK9mkmqXMaMV?si=lWUwiKaBROecSAdQ9-EHBA

Youtube: https://youtube.com/@fermosaph9840