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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Simon Phillips - Another Lifetime – Simon Phillips is a drummer who has little to prove nowadays, what with the monstrous level of playing ability he has cultivated over the years. Terry Bozzio is perhaps his closest competitor...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues