Review: Ov Hollowness – ‘The World Ends’

One-man project Ov Hollowness hits album number three with this release and whilst the Canadian goes on to make some well-assembled black metal with doom influences, he fails to produce anything wildly out of the ordinary. Still, ‘The World Ends’ certainly doesn’t make for bad listening if you like an atmospheric soaking of melancholic doom and you’ve either said or at least thought the phrase ‘black metal till I die’.

OvHollowness                                                

The album’s highlights are steeped in mastermind Mark R’s faster and more frenzied sections of black metal. The simply-titled ‘Ov’ is a thick fortress of blackened riffs, slugging double-kickers and caustic, frothing vocals that reveals Ov Hollowness’ harshest work. The one-man act might be predominantly black metal in spirit but he certainly thrusts some surprises into the mix, with some solo work more akin to melodic doom sensibilities, especially on the sorrowful ‘End In View’. On other occasions, Ov Hollowness are a beastly behemoth of cagey black metal riffs, and that is where this project succeeds most.

One of the more pleasant surprises on ‘The World Ends’ is the 10-minute title track – positively charged with a Bathory-like guitar work and ambitious vocals that any fan of Primordial would appreciate. It’s when Mark R’s clean voice emerges that you realise that the solo-man has a clear vision of how he wishes to layer his haunting vocal harmonies into the album occasionally. The only problem with this is the poor balance given to the vocals in final production – a little higher up in the mix and the spectacle would be complete. Nevertheless, the album produces some more nice twists in the form of strongest song of the album, ‘Hollow’, which features a melodic bout of lean black riffs and a sharpened, visceral vocal performance from Mark R. A decent third record from Ov Hollowness begs the question ‘what’s next?’

7/10

Initially published at SoundShock.com:
soundshock.com/index.php/cd-reviews/4775-ov-hollowness-the-world-ends-album-review

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