Exposé Online banner

Obake — Draugr
(RareNoise RNR067, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-08-22

Draugr Cover art

Somewhere in the stack of CDs I’ve got to review, this release from Obake must have fallen down a crack or something. So it’s catch-up time… This band is another project featuring singer Lorenzo Esposito Fornaseri, who also contributes keyboards and electronics, whom we’ve covered before with one of his other bands, O.R.k. In Obake, he works with O.R.k.-mate Coin Edwin (bass), Eraldo Bernocchi (guitar, electronics), and Jacopo Pierazzuoli (drums). As with O.R.k. the music is a sophisticated take on heavy rock, with Bernocchi’s guitars delving into massive drop-tuned riffs, often mangled by freakish effects. But there’s a lot more to this band than heaviness. If I had to label them, I’d go for “avant-metal,” but where Free Salamander Exhibit interrupts their heaviness with RIO-tinged chamber rock, Obake goes for electronics, both in the form of keyboards and processing. It’s almost like you took Porcupine Tree and cranked both the metal and electronics knobs higher, so the heavier parts are heavier and the electronics more intrusive. As with any music featuring Fornaseri, his voice is one of the most prominent elements, and he is a strong as ever here, clearly in the same league as the great singers in Italian rock history: Francesco di Giacomo, Alvaro Fella, Lino Vairetti, and so on. One thing that makes Obake so successful, aside from the obvious talents of the individual players, is their ability to forge a path of their own without making it into a rut. Some tracks revel in a slow, plodding intensity, others burst out with thrashing high-speed riffs; most songs feature powerful, heavily distorted electric guitar, others pursue a more subtle course with acoustic guitar and atmospheric electronics. Obake is recommended for people who like their riffs to rock hard but are tired of the same old metal that’s been around since at least the 80s, when 70s hard rock solidified into thousands of bands that sounded pretty much the same.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Colin Edwin, Obake, Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (LEF)

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ars Nova - Transi – Transi is the second release from this Japanese trio, fronted by talented keyboardist Keiko Kumagai. Writing all the music and commanding an arsenal of analog and digital keys, she leads the group...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues