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Ov Hollowness : Drawn to Descend : Metal albums reviews

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Ov Hollowness : Drawn to Descend, brief review


Ov Hollowness :  Drawn to Descend

Band name: Ov Hollowness

Diminished was the debut record of Mark R., which offered a good mixture of atmosphere and black metal. Lost Resolve did develope a straighter style of black metal, with less atmosphere and no keyboard at all. Drawn to Descend seems to be a symbiosis of both.

In comparission with the debut there are nearly no piano/keyboard parts left on Drawn to Descend, but he uses a lot more dense layers of guitar sounds to create the atmosphere. The guitars are responsible for the main melodies as well, paired with the growled black metal vocals. The production improved a bit as well and the execution is going nicely as well. Sadly, not everything is better than before, as the drums are mostly generic, lifeless and therefore monotonous, which is one of the main flaws of the record.

As there are nearly no keyboard sounds left, the similiarities with Gallowbraid are getting more and more obvious, but something is missing here. Nearly all the songs are well composed, although they rely on the same scheme. The only exception is the title track Drawn to Descend, which is well executed as well, but it’s really long-drawn and the alternations are to minimal to matter. As all the songs rely on the same scheme there is a consistency which garantuees a good quality (with this one exception) without sounding akin at all. The only thing I miss a bit is something experimental, which would grant one great unique characteristic.

As songs like Desolate are reminding of the aforementioned Gallowbraid (in terms of orchestration and vocalisation) there are two songs which are offering an alternate soundscape: Winds Forlorn and The Darkness. The first one shines with a mixture of clean vocals and spoken passages that are interplaying and The Darkness is the exeptional track of the record. It’s offering good old Black’n'Roll that suits Ov Hollowness really well.

Conclusion:

Drawn to Descend is a really worthy and logical successor of Diminshed. Although the drums are weaker than before, the overall composition and execution is way better than before. Except the title track every track knows how to catch your ears over a long distance and the last track is really cool. As mentioned there could be some experiments in sound, but overall the record is recommendable. If you want to get a vast grasp of how it sounds listen to the songs of Lost Resolve, as they are available for free.

Atmospheric black metal with influences from the depressive genre might sum the basic performance up quite succinctly, but with one exception, which is discussed below. When it comes to new facets, then vocals seems to have been a focal point in the process of crafting this record. Clean ones, distorted, black metal ones to name some, appear over the course of this album and in terms of the influences a band like Vintersorg – the clean vocal parts – might be used as a proper reference. Especially the play of different styles in ‘Winds Forlorn’ needs to be emphasized: there is this twisted speaking in the background, while clean chants work as a counterpoint towards these; not only in terms of the atmosphere but also in respect to the lyrical content. Sadly, this play with the elements is rather an exception, as the music generally tends to emphasize flow over such experiments.

In terms of the guitars, a dense layer is created, while in the background the bass adds some volume and heaviness to the iciness of the overall sound. Yes, even though the term ‘minimalist’ would be an exaggeration, it is possible to perceive the art in such a way. OH stick to a quite peculiar type of music and even though the arrangements are not endless repetition of a small set of motives, the constancy might be something that turns some people off. There are solo parts, each composition is different in certain levels, but the core remains intact. On the one hand this is good, because those who have a certain fancy for this type of music, will find a good amount of it on this recording; while those with a taste that longs for a more experimental and daring approach, could receive ‘Drawn to Descend’ much more negative. Here it is the song writing to which a critical mind has to point foremost and maybe an ounce of unpredictability would have a good effect on the music. There are additional elements used, but their part merges too neatly with the rest of the style. Something like clear counterpoints and interesting build-up of the atmosphere are still missing.

The Darkness:
One of the obvious shortcomings of a MP3-review is that some basic information are missing, especially those that are contained in the booklet. Nevertheless, one aspect reveals itself immediately: The Darkness is different from any other track on this album. Is it a cover version, then? No and this is the surprising aspect of it all. With riffs, whose conception wake memories rather on Hard Rock than black metal, the Canadian band moved into a quite different direction and closed the album in an unexpected manner. According to an e-mail I received from the band, a guest musician joined Mark R. here, but who this would be could not be made out due to the issue presented in first sentence of this paragraph. Anyway, it is an interesting counterpoint to Ov Hollowness’ main focus and it is somewhat funny to see how the metal black aspect can be bent.

A progression has been made and the basic outstretches of the art reveal themselves. Compared with the debut album, the latest one is more likely to create a lasting impression. It is a step in the right direction and with its dense atmosphere something to enjoy without much difficulty. The mixture between depressive and atmospheric black metal is quite interesting and was executed on a good level. Compared with the debut, this latest output presents to the listener a concept which has grown since and whose basic elements were explored in more depth. Even though the genre was most certainly not re-invented here, the performance is still of such a quality that it is able to grab the listener and leave a lasting impression. Consistency instead of novelty as well as atmosphere over an artificial progressive pretentiousness might sum it up in a few words. It is possible to look over the flaws in the song writing and to enjoy this dark piece of art considerably. Recommended.



Album: Drawn to Descend, review

The bands country origin: Canada

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