Candlelight Records / Soulfood
Octavia Sperati took shape in Bergen (Norway) in 2000, basically as a result of new friendships and common musical preferences. Sharing a general interest in heavy metal, the girls met through the local metal scene, where they so far had been compelled to enjoy the music from outside the stage lights, as spectators and not performers. Getting to know each other, and getting along really well, they decided form their own band, and OCTAVIA SPERATI was born.
The first line-up consisted of Silje Wergeland (vocals, synth), Trine C. Johansen (bass), Bodil Myklebust (guitars) and Gyri Losnegaard (guitars). Shortly after, drummer Silje Røyseth joined the band. The band started practising in the music organisation AKKS rehearsal rooms in Bergen, and some of the members also followed the AKKS’s instrument courses. As part of the course schedule they were thrown into playing their first gig only a couple of months after they started playing together. This 'sudden' start proved to set a standard for OCTAVIA SPERATI’s progression through the following years.
In 2001, Silje met Tone Midtgaard and invited her to replace her on keys, completing the line-up which (with the exception of a Spinal Tap-ish trail of past drummers) equals the band as we know it today. When drummer Silje left the band after only a year, the girls persuaded Hege Larsen from local tundra rock band Östblokk to join forces with them. With a brand new line-up OCTAVIA SPERATI did their most important gig so far, as support to Enslaved at the release of their ‘Monumension’ album in Bergen in 2001. During the next couple of years OCTAVIA SPERATI played several gigs in Norway, including major festivals like Hole in the Sky - Bergen metal fest, 1001 Watt (Skien), Ride This Train (Bergen), Rjukan Rock (Rjukan), Slottsfjellfestivalen (Tønsberg), Lost Weekend festival (Askøy) and the Elements of Metal festival (Sandefjord).
In 2002 OCTAVIA SPERATI released a self-financed, low budget 5-track demo ‘Guilty', and in October 2003 they were able to enter the studio again, with financial support from their local government. This time they used Earshot studio with producers Herbrand Larsen and Arve Isdal (Enslaved, Audrey Horne). The promotional recordings payed off, as the song "Lifelines of Depths" was included as one of the tracks on Music Export Norway's first-ever metal compilation CD together with tunes from bands such as Audiopain, Einherjer, Enslaved, Red Harvest and Zyklon among others. Now things started going for OCTAVIA SPERATI.
In early 2004 OCTAVIA SPERATI was one of 50 promising Norwegian bands performing at the by:Larm conference, which is Scandinavias largest happening in music trading and network building. In March the same year OCTAVIA SPERATI recorded the first "Lifelines of Depths" music video, a practically none-budget production executed by local film makers Juan Cruz Pacin, Christian Caro and Gianfranco Zicarelli. This video ran on Metal Svisj, Norwegian channel NRK2's metal video program, for almost 6 months.
Late 2004 OCTAVIA SPERATI signed a record deal with Candlelight Records, home to some of Norway’s best Metal bands. They were granted even more financial support from the local government as well as the national fund Fond for lyd og bilde; and exactly one year since the last time, December 2004, OCTAVIA SPERATI entered Earshot studios once more to finish off the recordings which would result in their debut album. Rounding off the eventful year 2004, drummer Hege Larsen dropped the news that was leaving the band, only weeks after the Earshot studio sessions were finished and with only months left to the album's release. The remaining members were shocked but recognized and accepted the fact that Hege wanted to do other things, and immediately started looking for a new drummer.
The fifth year in the history of OCTAVIA SPERATI started with a second recording session in producer 'Pytten' Hundvin's studio Grieghallen studio (Hall of Grieg), where the grand piano and remaining guitar tracks were added to the production. At the same time OCTAVIA SPERATI was accompanied by another local drummer, Kristoffer 'Kikken' Risbakk Vegsund - the first male member of the band. At last, “Winter Enclosure” was released on May 9th, 2005.
'Winter Enclosure' was embraced by both critics and audience. OCTAVIA SPERATI won flattering comparisons to the likes of NIGHTWISH, THE GATHERING and THE THIRD AND THE MORTAL, and top UK hard rock magazine, Kerrang! described the album as ‘Extravagant, dramatic doom with a rock ‘n roll heart.’
Two videos were recorded: ‘Hunting Eye’, which was shot at composer Edvard Grieg's home Troldhaugen, and a second version of ‘Lifelines of Depths’. The latter was A-listed on the English TV channel Scuzz. Both videos were made by director Asle Birkeland, who also has worked with Enslaved and Audrey Horne.
The album being rewarded with great reviews and sales numbers increasing beyond expectations, OCTAVIA now had to start the promotional touring. OCTAVIA's first gig outside of Norway was at the GoNorth music Convention in Aberdeen in May, sponsored by Music Export Norway. The gig was followed by the UK 'Winter Enclosure Tour' in June 2005. In September OCTAVIA returned to the UK as tour support to metal legends Paradise Lost, followed by a number of own gigs and an appearance at In The City Music Convention in Manchester, also supported by Music Export Norway. In December, OCTAVIA was granted success as support act on Cradle of Filth's UK tour together with legendary Cathedral.
The effort proved worthwhile as the votes from readers of British hard rock magazine TERRORIZER placed OCTAVIA SPERATI at the magazine's top-10 list over best newcomer 2005, as a respectable number 8. At home, the readers of the newspaper Bergens Tidende chose ‘Winter Enclosure’ as the best album of the year by a local band. Male drummer Kikken was also delighted to find that he was on TERRORIZERS list of most shaggable females… Even so, a few months into the new year, it turned out that OCTAVIA was once again short of a drummer, and the band decided to dedicate some time and effort into finding the right person for the band. On June 6th 2006, at a split concert with Vulture Industries and Syrach, OCTAVIA introduced their fourth drummer Ivar Alver. Ivar also plays in Trine's side project HUNTING LEAGUE.
Preparing the recordings of a new record, OCTAVIA SPERATI went to Tone's home in Sandefjord in October 2006 to do a pre-production in Morpheus's (Limbonic Art, Dimension f3h) studio MO. Shortly after they started recording their second album. Like with ‘Winter Enclosure’, OCTAVIA used producers Herbrand Larsen and Arve Isdal and Earshot Studios, and Bjørnar Nilsen, singer of Vulture Industries and producer of several Bergen bands Helheim, Vulture Industries and Bourbon Flame, assisted during the recording process. Also Morfeus took part in recording the synth and one of the songs on the album. In addition, Herbrand Larsen collaborated with producer Geir Luedy on the mixing this time. The album 'Grace Submerged' is due for release in May 2007.
Silje – Vocals
Gyri – Guitar
Bodil – Guitar
Trine – Bass
Tone – Synth/Keyboards
Ivar – Drums