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Octavia Sperati - Grace Submerged

Label: Candlelight
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: The Goat

Octavia Sperati is a Norwegian all female metal band and they seriously kick ass. "Grace Submerged" is their second release demonstrating an increase in style and maturity in sound. Their previous release, "Winter Enclosure" was weak in some spots and did not make itself to be a memorable release when compared to other bands with female vocals. "Grace Submerged" resolves these weaknesses.


Silje's vocal style is reminiscent of Anneke of The Gathering. The main difference is the context. Silje's voice is contrasted by the heavier doom of OS's sound, whereas Anneke's voice and The Gathering's sound is more mellow. While comparisons will be inevitable, OS sounds like a heavier Lacuna Coil at times, yet the differences are striking.

The Coil's songs have a distinctive Romance (as in the language branch) influence while the Sperati is Norwegian. There is a drafty cold edge to the guitars that is most assuredly as a result of spending a portion of the year in darkness.

"Grace Submerged" is a very strong. Some songs have a familiar quality to them. Take for instance, 'Moonlit', the rhythm sounds extremely familiar, especially the opening guitar groove. It took me a while but I figured what it reminded me of, in a very very good way - something that Down would construct - it is that heavy a song. Another band that comes to mind as I enjoy this release would be Madder Mortem. There are moments when the Sperati women deliver such an emotional strike as to be similar in attitude as Madder Mortem's post-modern thrash.

The Sperati women are capable of such menace yet they can shift to a song such as 'Don't Believe A Word'. The simple arrangement and paired down instrumentation of this song reminds me of something that would not be that far removed from a Tori Amos release (although a bit more straightforward than Ms. Amos's lyric writing style). 'Don't Believe' is a beautifully ironic song which may distinguish Octavia Sperati from their peers.

"Grace Submerged" puts, finally, Octavia Sperati into the same playing fields as Lacuna Coil, The Provenance, The Gathering, and, of course, Evanescence. I am certain, though, if you give them a chance they will reveal other gems beyond what you may expect from this kind of band.

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