posted on 6/2007 By:
I don’t know how I find myself reviewing so many albums like this, nor do I particularly understand why there seems to be so many bands of this ilk flooding the gates lately, but here we have yet another contender for the goth metal throne. Take a doomier version of Amaran, mix with some nods to The Gathering or Within Temptation, and finish with a dash of Tristania or Theatre of Tragedy, there you have a rough and ready Octavia Sperati. It sounds good on paper if it didn't describe an alarming multiplicity of bands, but unfortunately Grace Submerged is just a wee bit too uneventful for my tastes.
The biggest thing that bothers me about Grace Submerged is how much of an overwhelming emphasis is placed on the vocals, almost to the point of setting the rest of the band to the side as support. The lack of excitement from the rest of the ensemble causes the entire album to enshroud the listener in a fog of boredom. Yes, Silje Wergeland has a beautiful voice and all, but I couldn’t for the life of me listen to this whole album in one sitting. I tried, but the only songs that really had an ounce of life or excitement were the opener “Guilty Am I” and the somewhat emotional “ And Then the World Froze”. The band's strengths seem to be rooted in the more ballad oriented songs: the rather interesting cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Don’t Believe a Word”, “The Final Rest”, and “Dead end Poem” (Which coincidently has the same lyrics as Enslaved’s “As Fire Swept Clean the Earth”…sadly though this brought to mind Tori Amos butchering “Raining Blood”). The rest of the album sounded like hackneyed filler.
If this particular style of metal is something you just can’t seem to get enough of, perhaps you won’t be as blasé about Grace Submerged as I am. Octavia Sperati play the style well and all, but I can’t help but feel that this record is just more of the same, without any surprises to help keep things fresh (unless you count having only one male member important, and I don't). Decent enough, but overwhelmingly cookie cutter.
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