"Winter Enclosure"


01. Intro
02. Lifelines of Depths
03. Soundless
04. Icebound
05. Hymn
06. Hunting Eye
07. Future Is
08. Below Zero
09. Wasted On the Living
10. Without Air (Before)
11. Without Air (After)

RATING: 7/10

In the current global market, a Norwegian band comprised entirely of good-looking women seems destined to have A&R executives tripping over their erections in a race to get their checkbooks out. OCTAVIA SPERATI has entered the scene in a low-key fashion so far, making noise at home for several years before finishing a proper debut album, but with the release of "Winter Enclosure", look for their melodic doom rock to turn quite a few heads.

The most immediate comparison upon hearing opener "Lifelines of Depths" would be "Mandylion"-era THE GATHERING. Vocalist Silje has a similar style and phrasing to Anneke van Giersbergen, and the band's music is stately, guitar-driven, slow and a little doomy, with rock undertones. But where THE GATHERING favored more simple, direct and hooky songs at that time, OCTAVIA take a more Goth approach, layering keyboards and making the hooks less obvious.

Songs like "Icebound" start out in hit-single territory, but attain a sonic density as they go that suggests a black metal influence. Listen to the guitar underneath the chorus of the ballad "Hunting Eye" for more proof of this – speed-picking where more commercial-minded bands would go for big open chords and the lowest common denominator. And check out the startling bit of blasting after the chorus of the otherwise rock-oriented "Future Is"!

Not that this is inaccessible music, by any means — its atmosphere and regal aura, and Silje's angelic vocal lines, will captivate most NIGHTWISH fans, as well as admirers of THE GATHERING (a band OCTAVIA is undoubtedly already sick of being compared to). It just fits, though – if that band had maintained a guitar-dominant, metallic sound, they may well have evolved into something just like this.

If there is a complaint about "Winter Enclosure", it is that the band's lack of focus makes the end result less than memorable – the sound is enjoyable, but the songs are lacking. For a debut, especially one this ambitious, it's a minor concern. OCTAVIA SPERATI establish themselves here as a formidable band, and lay a foundation for what should be quite an interesting evolution.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).