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

2019-06-05
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

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Djam Karet - No Commercial Potential... and Still Getting the Ladies – In some respects, Djam Karet can be viewed as a band with a split personality. Sometimes they are a tightly rehearsed unit performing composed music; sometimes they are purveyors of ambient...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues