Known for his work in multi-national prog-jazz outfit Naked Truth, bassist Lorenzo Feliciati, has fashioned an admirably genre-defying collaboration with Owls keyboard and multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari.
Although consisting of stand-alone pieces, the album also works as one lengthy soundtrack/suite whose startling moods encompass jazz, metal, progressive rock, minimalism and post-rock longueurs.
The top-drawer guestlist includes King Crimson’s Pat Mastelotto and Norwegian guitar maestro Eivind Aarset, but it’s Gianluca Petrella’s FX-enhanced trombone that often dominates, scorching songs with a shimmering halo of curious multi-phonics and a rich, caustic intensity.
Fornasari’s vocals are astonishing powerful, morphing between an urbane Sylvian-like drawl to a cracked-gravel growl oozing with a creeping malevolence. That theatricality evokes the dystopian pronouncements interleaving Bowie’s Outside. Like that album, Berserk!’s mercurial ambience can suddenly stiffen into mysterious and daunting encounters.
Despite its title, a meticulous sense of order is always present. Feliciati and Fornasari make for a bold, challenging listen.