Ov Shadows – The Darkness Between Stars

Reviewed: April 2018
Released: 2018, www.blackmarketmetal.net/
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Owen Thompson

From the pantheon of Swedish savagery come OV Shadows. Sweden is, of course, a country which boasts a rich history of Black Metal finery. Ov Shadows certainly turned heads with their debut EP “Monologues” and have now graced with their debut full-length release. “The Darkness Between Stars” is an obsidian slice of BM carnage which showcases a band full of focus and determination, but are not quite at the elite level yet.

The monstrous title track kicks things off. Raw and vital, its lead guitar entwines like a python and tightens its grip until all life has faded, leaving only entropy and decay. “Bellowing Shadows” is rough, crude and pitiless; a merciless foray into darkness, replete with nuclear blast drumming and grimmer-than-Darkthrone-on their-kvltist-day guitars. “The Hanged Man” offers something a little different with the atmospheric jangle of its intro before the inevitable and familiar convulsion of rage, bile and venom. The sandpaper riffing and flecks of malefic melody make “Disguised As Altruism” seem like a putrefying corpse animated by some perverse need. This bleeds nicely into the ludicrous speed chugathon that is “Ritual Of The Natural Flame”. A relentless melange of hyperspeed viciousness and callous barking akin to having a dentist drill bore directly into you temples whilst simultaneously having your teeth pulled out with pliers.

By now the pattern has well and truly been established. The band’s every move is foreseeable, as evidenced by the cataclysmic cacophony of “Hordes Abiding The Narrator”, an ugly and brutal denouement. Closer “A Sky In Vain” lurches like a Romero zombie and but moves with the precision focus of a serial killer hunting prey.

Ov Shadows are clearly a band of conviction. They have a distinct template that they stick to. Somewhat rigidly. This is not a criticism as such, more an observation that they have a way of doing things and see no reason to deviate. This would be fine if the material was a little more original and memorable; they are a band that follow a very well-trodden path, which again is not a criticism as such, it is just that the band’s riffs and overall approach are a bit predictable. There are some very positive elements: the vocals sound like a wraith suffering from smoke inhalation, and the ophidian lead guitar is the glue that holds it all together. Decent effort.


Track Listing

  1. The Darkness Between Stars
  2. Bellowing Shadows
  3. The Hanged Man
  4. Disguised As Altruism
  5. Ritual Of The Natural Flame
  6. Hordes Abiding The Narrator
  7. A Sky in Vain

Band Line Up

RA – Bass/Vocals
JW – Drums
AF – Guitars
AA – Guitars





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