Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
Distributor/label URL: http://www.blackmarketmetal.net/
Buy Album [URL]: http://blackmarketmetallabel.bigcartel.com/product/ov-shadows-the-darkness-between-stars
Band Website: https://ovshadows.bandcamp.com/ / https://www.facebook.com/ovshadowsofficial/
AA, AF, JW & RA
- The Darkness Between Stars
- Bellowing Shadows
- The Hanged Man
- Disguised as Altruism
- Ritual of the Natural Flame
- Hordes Abiding the Narrator
- A Sky in Vain
Not much is divulged about Ov Shadows in their supplied bio, except that this recently spawned premier offering is set to deliver to us an atmospheric Black Metal sound suffused with the feel of deep forests and dark winter. Equally mystifying is that the line-up has been reduced to set of initials, perhaps not to bring the past to the present? Truly an enigma at this stage. What I have found out, is that they were founded in 2016 and they originate from Gothenburg. All four members also made up the former band, Waning.
First tracks are important and in this case ‘The Darkness Between Stars’ makes the right impression straight away. It beckons you in with a slow ramping haze, that soon drives you over the edge into an explosive tight blast beat backbone. A backbone who’s only blighted friends are a forlorn trio of expansive string plucked demons, soon joined by a reverberating slew of haunting vocal shrills… Play on!
After listening to this album at least a half dozen times now, I agree with the biography; it is a well-crafted album and I don’t often say that. It’s balanced, the tracks progress naturally, we’re not left facing a wall of obnoxious blasting often placed as a guise to compensate for a lack of song-writing. Tempo dynamics are understood here, it’ll slide you into slower mid-paced introductions and interludes without the need for breakdown insurance.
If I’m to be critical of anything in this release, it’s the bass. It’s sadly become a long lost memory, a feeling rather than a force in the majority of the tracks. There is every chance it’s so rigidly attached to the kick that it’s just washed away with the intensity. Thankfully however, it does manage to stick out more at slower interludes where it adds a mournful accent.
This isn’t an album that I enjoy calling out a lead track for because the entire journey is worth your time. Under duress, the lead track on pre-release edges it for me which is also the first track and the title of the album; ‘The Darkness Between Stars’, is anthemic and for anyone that loves the genre it will acquire fans and it rightly should.
The bottom-line; ‘The Darkness Between Stars’ has a dark path it wants you to tread and isn’t going to sign you up for anything other than an all-enveloping shroud of desolate ABM desolation. It has all you could want.
Review By Joel Wheeler