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Octavia Sperati: Grace Submerged

Octavia Sperati is another in a long line of female fronted bands that seems to be flooding the market these days. One difference is that this is for the most part a female band. Five of the band's six members are women. Drummer Ivar Alver is the lone male member. (No pun intended) Grace Submerged is the second full length release for the band, a follow up to 2005's Winter Enclosure.

The first thing one notices when listening to Grace Submerged is the voice of vocalist Silje Wergeland. The highlight of the entire album is a stunning cover version of the Thin Lizzy classic "Don't Believe a Word", sung as a ballad, in which Wergeland is accompanied only by a piano. Her voice is angelic and this is one of the most unique and wonderful cover songs done in quite some time. The rest of Grace Submerged is more of the typical Octavia Sperati sound. Goth Rock/Metal, with an ever present Doom quality.

While the vocals are in the forefront for the most part, one thing that seems to be conspicuously missing is any type of lead guitar work at all. Throughout the album the listener may find himself wondering when there is going to be some type of solo, or even a brief accent of some lead guitar. The band does have two guitar players. Maybe they felt the keyboard work of Tone Midtgaard would fill the void. Unfortunately it doesn't. The songs are catchy and melodic; it just seems there's that little something missing to push them over the top. Some solo work overtop of the nice melodies they've written, whether guitar or keyboard, would have been a nice touch.

Besides the aforementioned cover song there are some other highlights, such as the opener, "Guilty Am I", and the powerful "And Then the World Froze". Most of what's here is very generic and not very exciting. Fans of this type of music may be entertained but Grace Submerged is in essence a showcase of the wonderful vocal talent of Silje Wergeland.

Track Listing
1) Guilty Am I
2) Moonlit
3) Going North
4) Don't Believe a Word
5) And Then The World Froze
6) The Final Rest
7) Deprivation
8) Provenance of Hate
9) Dead End Poem
10) Submerged

Added: May 11th 2007
Reviewer: Ken Sanford
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3287
Language: english

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