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Ol Drake – Old Rake Award winner

Ol Drake
Old Rake
by Michael Coyle at 23 July 2015, 7:26 PM

Through Ol's carrier we have seen the man bring time and time again titan like riffs of a progressive nature mixed with his own influences in the Metal sub-­genre of Thrash, through becoming a fan in two thousand and ten I can say I have been lucky to witness the mans journey as a musician and as an influence in the world of guitar, this being said when we see the Ol's YouTube channel we see just that and much more to boot. Since Ol Drakes departure from the British-based Thrashers EVILE we have been wondering what would come next, after waiting this long we see the man bring a new force into his catalogue of creative and intense musical mastery with his debut solo record Old Rake.

"Han Valen" as the title suggest we see Ol take some of his influences in guitar starting with a Van Halen approach to his guitars and to his sound by adding this classic and very groovy mix which to me is just very awesome, I would say that from the very start we knew what we were going to get and that is something that really shakes and rattles about with some edgy and really fun riffs that really work well with the drums and just creates this really smooth flow that takes you from one place and lands you to another, I would say that on this record this is one of my favorites by far as it shows Ol's creative juices flowing. If anything I love it when an artist really takes that inspiration from a band or an artist that they look up to and make it their own. On another note the entire song itself is soloing at it's very best with fast harmonics and edgy tones that really make this song sing.

"Onions" compared to the previous song this one shows more structure in tone and creativity showing Ol's talents in song writing in general, I really like the way that it flows as it is a pretty well played song, but in a lot of ways it really shows how much Ol has evolved as a guitarist, from my standpoint I feel that he has taken inspiration from some of his heroes in a big way by incorporating different styles and ideas within the song, as it progresses I think you would agree as there are changes within the track that show it is not just one solid flow but different beats to what he is capable of as a song writer.

"Spaceship Janitor" starts with a famous line from Neil Armstrong, though besides this there is some comedy where we hear Ol whistling before the track. I will not lie though this song screams of Joe Satriani in my ears as there is that vibe you get from the entire track which is incredible for me to hear as in my opinion you do not really get to see a lot of musicians going into that territory. If anything the song has some very funny parts included showing just how funny of a guy Ol is by showing his sense of humor I feel it makes this track flow very well both in the way he is able to create these fast and creative riffs while at the same time adding a funny side to it creating a sort of adventure for the listener

"Emperor" is, compared to the previous tracks we see Ol opening with a lighter more gentle touch which is different I will not lie, but it really does work as it show cases some of his more technical tones in the sense that he is going with a progressive touch which for this record is just incredible to even hear as this is one of the best tracks on the record in my opinion because it shows you a part of Mr Drake that we don't really get to see a lot. Through listening to this track I find myself thinking of Steve Vai in many ways as this really has a strong Vai tone yet mixed with Ol's own tone showing that this song has a few different chapters to it and for this t even be playing right now is just incredible to even listen to as it shows us that what we have here is a real guitar record of different forms and faces.

"I'll Be Bach (Get It?)" is in the title itself is hilarious to even see but at the same time yes Mr. Drake I get it and I must say good show sir. The track itself is a in every way a homage to the classics and the masters, I can honestly say that this is a tune and a half, it is something that is so random to hear on a record like this but at the same time it is something you would expect from a man of his caliber when it comes to writing and performing riffs of this magnitude, if there was only one thing I could say bad about this tune it would be that it is to short.

"Guitarists Playing Guitars" is a song where we see Ol go back to this groovy and catchy riff style that we saw on the first track of this record by bringing in fast and very groovy beats and blasts of tunes into the mixture. Fast and very furious is the way to describe the work that this track holds for the listener as it shows off some of the most epic riffs to be found on this record and in every way this is true to the point as we see Ol storm through some massive tones and insane riffs. I feel when you look into it that there are some strong classic Metal riffs along with some incredible new additions mixed into the formula.

"Karma" is a  track that has some very similar styles to that of the track "Emperor" but in a more smooth clean and relaxing tone of music which really just takes you away in this gentle yet incredible mental journey of a song, I feel that through this record we have seen different shades of Ol's work come to life, in every way they shine very differently yet I find that through this record there is no flaw and no cracks to really spoil this record, and this song really proves that point as it is slow, it is mellow and yes it is Ol Drake at his finest ladies and gentlemen.

"The Rake Waltz" you must admit it, from the title you thought of Exodus, I know I did, but from what you hear from the start this track really hits it hard bringing in some of Ol's Thrash in every sense of the word as well as show casing his speed and skill in a whole which goes to show you that you can really mix the best parts of everything and that is exactly what we have here ladies and gentlemen. What I have come to admire with this record is how he is able to show off his best traits in a whole and really create something new and different yet familiar which for fans of Ol's previous work will come to enjoy as well I would imagine.

"An Absence" helps us close out the record with another soft and gentle song with some up front power to it, mixing this solo tone together with a clean tone mixed in with it creating this really powerful image of tone I would say. From the start of this record we have seen Ol' go from fast and insane riffs to some of the most beautiful melodies I have ever had the pleasure of listening to, for this to be the closer I can truly say well done sir, well done!. It goes to show you that there are still some incredible masters about in the new century and I feel that Ol Drake is truly an example of mistro if ever there was one, and for him to have made this shows how much talent this man has in every way.

To conclude I feel that what you will get from this record is what you want, it holds some of Ol's greatest work and I feel that this is only the beginning for this mans solo legacy plus much more. I'm not gonna say it will please everyone but for those looking for something different then this is the record for you, especially those looking to learn some new tricks in guitar. In general I feel that it has been a grand pleasure to review this record and I look forward to seeing what else comes about in the future.

5 Star Rating

1. Han Valen
2. Onions
3. Spaceship Janitor
4. Emperor
5. I'll Be Bach (Get It?)
6. Guitarists Playing Guitars
7. Karma
8. The Rake Waltz
9. An Absence
Ol Drake – Guitar
Record Label: Earache Records


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