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Ov Shadows - I Djävulens Avbild

Ov Shadows
I Djävulens Avbild
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 27 August 2020, 7:46 AM

OV SHADOWS is a Swedish black metal band and "I Djävulens Avbild" is their second full length release; they released an EP in 2016. This album is really crazy—-it is one-part full steam ahead, no holds barred black metal. Tremolo picking, inhuman drumming and blackened shrieks are some elements at play that will blast your ear hole. However, there is more to the album than cold from the void speed and aggression. The other part is layers of atmosphere that hang over the songs like a toxic cloud of death.

The opening track, "Den Eld Som Tär och Förvrider," begins with guns a blazing. The first few minutes will straight up rip your face off. But the middle portion of the song, and again towards the end, is where the band takes a more minimalist approach. The drums are slowed and the riffs sort of hang there in a hypnotized manner. These little moments of sparking creativity go a long way with the album's enjoyment. It makes each song have something worth anticipating but also makes the furious parts all the bombastic and searing.  Even hardcore black metal fans who scoff at the idea of black metal doing something outside its lines will still want to hear this.  The atmospheric elements are so ingrained to the band’s style that the transitions are completely smooth and very natural feeling.

"Under Dödens Vingar" tones things down for a steady wall of blackened sound that washes over everything in its path. The raw-ish production lends the track a venomous bite and overall dark tone to give the effect of a harrowing journey. “Anakoretens Gap” begins as a doom style slow dirge but the drums wash it away and start unrelenting attacks—the vocals are especially potent, screaming to the point of near incomprehension.  The slower parts return here and there for a nice break in the speed but also serves to making the more brutal parts even more so.

The title track is a personal favorite on the album—-I loved the way it starts out with the clean notes and drums building up to ultimate presentation. The guitars really grab you and pull you through the song like some sadistic gauntlet. The last minute of the song is filled with hypnotic laced groove style riffs.

The final track, "Av Kunskap Krönt Till Gud" is also a highlight. The bass and drums ride up and down like blackened waves, the water carrying the guitars and vocals into brackish waters where they all converge around the four-minute mark in explosive outburst. OV SHADOWS' "I Djävulens Avbild" is a black metal album that does an excellent job in balancing its more traditional elements with plenty of stormy atmosphere.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Den eld som tär och förvrider
2. Blasfemiskt Crescendo
3. Under dödens vingar
4. Anakoretens gap
5. I djävulens avbild
6. Spotsk 06:35
7. Av kunskap krönt till gud
RA – Bass, Vocals
JW – Drums
AA – Guitars
AF - Guitars
Record Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records


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