All-female metal acts are hard to come by these days, but that is definitely not the primary reason why you should give this one a listen. Octavia is a relatively new six-piece, but have already been out supporting the mighty Enslaved and are now releasing their first album, a five-track EP. Initially somewhat reminiscent of bands like Nightwish and The 3rd and the Mortal, Octavia tackle their theatrical and progressive symfo-metal with more of a standard-rock approach than either of those. Silje Wergeland’s vocals are exploring and inventive, leaving a unique and memorable imprint on the songs, while the music is churning and riff-heavy, repetitive at times, yet always opening up to new layers ands nuances of sounds.

The two guitars in particular do tend to blur a bit, seemingly playing the same lines on top of each other, and it would probably be a good idea for Octavia to explore their limits and instrumental boundaries a bit more. However, the inventive and heavy bass playing of Trine C. Johansen along with Hege S. Larsen’s effective and propelling drumming do add some welcomed tension and progressive momentum to proceedings.

With songs like “Nebula” and “Guilty, Am I,” Octavia prove they have some interesting stories to tell, and their folk-infused and melodic progressive metal are delivered with engaging energy and passion. A welcome surprise, this, and a forthcoming full-length album could prove to be a real winner.

Octavia: http://www.octavia.nu

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