Obake – Draugr (Review)

ObakeObake are an Italian experimental sludge metal band and this is their third album.

Obake are an unusual band, as you may have surmised from the oddly unsettling album cover. They essentially take a sludge metal base and use this to launch an experimental foray into avant-garde waters, usually quite defying the listener in their expectations.

I suppose the closest I can come to giving you a ballpark idea of their sound is to ask you to imagine what it might be like if Mike Patton was fronting a sludge metal band, with some added Carnival in Coal quirkiness. Alternatively; a mix of Faith No More, Gurd, Knut and 6:33.

The music is atmospheric and full of fuzzy guitars, which mainly form the base of the tracks. This is augmented by a vaguely thuggish feeling from the harder vocals that back up the heavier parts.

The pacing is mainly slow and sludgy, although they do switch tempo here and there injecting some variety of speed into things. The slower pace generally suits them better though, somehow giving them more room to experiment with the vocals and the guitars.

For the most part the songs on Draugr strike a balance between being accessible and making the listener work for it. Occasionally they go more over to one side or the other, but they mainly sit somewhere in the middle. To put it another way; this is distinctly non-standard, unconventional music, but a more accessible take on it than some of the other stuff out there.

I really enjoyed this. Check it out.

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