If you’re not familiar with Ov Shadows, you are not alone. Until I received their promo, I had never heard of them. But as I familiarized myself with their discography (their 2016 EP Monologues and their 2018 LP The Darkness Between Stars), I had to keep asking myself how come such a great black metal band had gone unnoticed.
From the very start, I Djävulens Avbild (“In the Devil’s Image”) grabs you hard, and doesn’t let go until the end of its rather short 42 minute-run. It is a constant sensory onslaught, with fast drumming and galloping riffs present at almost all times. While this means that the entire album packs a lot of energy, it did make some of the songs sound rather similar to each other.
Where the album really excels (and this is why I have kept coming back to it) is in creating a a dreadful atmosphere. RA (bassist and singer) delivers his growls and shrieks with the kind of skill that you’d expect from the likes of Gaahl or Erik Danielsson. Combined with the dissonant melodies and the furious drumming, it’s really the stuff of nightmares.
It’s not that Ov Shadows are treading any new ground here (they’re very clearly influenced by the likes of Dark Funeral). But what they do, they do extremely well. And considering that this is only their second album, the sky is really the limit as to what they can do.