Exposé Online banner

O.R.k. — Soul of an Octopus
(RareNoise RNR075, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-04-17

Soul of an Octopus Cover art

The first O.R.k. album was a pleasant surprise, presenting an imaginative take on the confluence of heavy rock with atmospheric production and strong vocals. Soul of an Octopus gives us nine more tracks of the same basic style, and while it is perhaps a little less immediately appealing, it is a no less rewarding release. The notable changes from Inflamed Rides are the increased use of acoustic guitar and electronic percussion. Certainly Carmelo Pipitone played acoustic guitar on the debut, but it seems more prominent now, with tunes like “Collapsing Hopes” featuring acoustic and slide to start with, though of course the heavy electric parts are bound to arrive before long. Pat Mastelotto is no stranger to electronic percussion, and his inclusion of it here is well within his style, though he avoided it for the previous O.R.k. album. These electronic elements do not overpower the rock element of the drumming, only serve as coloration at times. To a great extent, the sound is dominated by the vocals of Lorenzo Esposito Fornaseri, which are strong and capable of great range — and his lead parts are augmented by many backing parts, both harmonizing and offering counterpoint and commentary. The second defining factor comes from Pipitone’s guitars, often with three or more parts worked expertly together, providing variations of tone as well as enriching the harmonies. You’ll hear one or two acoustic parts with picked or strummed parts, a bluesy slide, and several distorted electrics with riffs and chords. One of the really nice elements of the band’s sound comes from Colin Edwin’s favoring fretless bass, which is not often heard in such heavy circumstances, but adds a lot of interest to the music. Add in some supportive keyboard parts (from Fornaseri), and you’ve got a lot going on. Fornaseri’s production manages to make it all sound real and natural, full but not overdone, with each part fitting into its own sonic space. Soul of an Octopus is another great release from this great band, and should find a home in the playlists of fans of Porcupine Tree and other progressive music that is heavy but not in the realm of progressive metal.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Pat Mastelotto, O.R.k., Colin Edwin, Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (LEF)

More info
http://orkband.bandcamp.com/album/soul-of-an-octopus

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Michel Sajrawy - Yathrib – The nine tracks presented on Yathrib not only attempt to bridge Arabic traditional composition forms, western jazz idioms and progressive rock, they also bridge the cultural differences (Christian,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues