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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Univeria Zekt - The Unnamables – This is, for all intents and purposes, a Magma album recorded under a different name. The original intent by producer Laurent Thibault was to create an album that would be sort of like an introduction...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues