AMN Reviews: ŪROK – ŪROK (2019; Chant Records)

At first blush, ŪROK comes across with a Black Sabbath influence. Considering the heavy riffing and mildly blues-inflected stylings, this impression is not completely out of place. Yet it does not fully characterize this group or its self-titled debut album. Led by Marco Quarantotto on drums, ŪROK also consists of Filippo Ferazzoli on guitar and Luigi Casanova on bass. In this instrumental power trio configuration, Quarantotto and company blast through five pieces that include nods toward early-metal influencers and a large dose of their own subtle experimentation.

Notably, Ferazzoli’s guitar work ultimately has as much in common with that of modern post-rock and avant-rock outfits as Tony Iommi. This is particularly apparent on the ballad, Blind, where he leads the group through a series of slow-paced melancholy themes that evolve into speed-picked textures. Exfiltrate, on the other hand, is a strange, droning piece with a distant wall of guitar noise and a frenetic drum solo. If anything, most of Ferazzoli’s soloing is off the reservation compared to conventional hard rock. Quarantotto is an equally busy and distinctive drummer, holding down complex rhythms with Casanova as well as exploring unconventional spaces of his own.

ŪROK is a distinctive and appealing release for fans of heavy music who don’t mind a few diversions into the abstract.

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