Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 6/14/2005
posted on 6/2005 By:
In the metal world, it is not unusual for a band to have a female vocalist. However, it is unusual when she is backed up by a female bassist, keyboardist, and a pair of ladies on the guitars. Apparently their old drummer was replaced by a guy, so that must make for some interesting tourbus dynamics. But all that aside, Octavia Sperati does not come off as a Kittie-like novelty. These Norse women play a developed and refined form of music that I can only describe as dark metal, which transcends the fact that this is a debut album.
After struggling for awhile to come up with any sort of comparisons, all that comes to mind is that much of Winter Enclosure sounds like Madder Mortem’s mellower moments. Silje sings with a mildly-haunting clean voice, mid-pitched, with a small amount of range displayed here, and a minor accent. The guitars plod along in the background, with a lot of drawn-out, deep chords. Leads are sparse, but when they do appear, they carry with them the weight of melancholy. Tone’s piano also sees a lot of airtime, providing an appropriate atmosphere to the tunes, but not standing out. In fact, none of the individual performers stand out amongst the rest, but the combined output results in some compelling music.
“Lifelines of Depths” is one of the more lively songs on Winter Enclosure, featuring a captivating chorus of an echoing Silje singing over a throbbing rhythm line. “Soundless” induces the Madder Mortem comparison mostly due to the prominent and entrancing bass playing. “Future Is” is my preferred song, coming off as Lacuna Coil-gone-doom. They begin to lose me towards the end of the album, but the final track picks up steam when the girls get loud. Loud, slow-paced drumming over a loud sludgy riff and feverish singing.
The guitars seem to be mixed low, which hampers the band, since the climactic moments do not come alive as fervently as they should. I think they could benefit from bringing a little more excitement to their sound, but this is a musical style that isn’t known for flash. Regardless, Octavia Sperati may appeal to fans of mellow doom, gothic, and dark metal, particularly those with a weakness for female voices.
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