Ov Hell/The Underworld Regime

Ov Hell is a Norwegian black metal supergroup started by Shagrath and King ov Hell in 2009. The band’s debut album, The Underworld Regime, was released in February 2010 by Indie Recordings.

Ov Hell was formed by King ov Hell and Shagrath following the dissolution of God Seed in July 2009. God Seed was formed by King and Gaahl in March that year, following the conclusion of the Gorgoroth name dispute which had started in October 2007. God Seed performed at the two festivals Hellfest Summer Open Air and With Full Force[2] in summer 2009, covering songs from the Gorgoroth albums Twilight of the Idols and Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam. During this period of activity Gaahl was expected to write lyrics and record vocals for the band’s intended debut album, for which at numerous times he was claimed to have been undertaking. The rest of the album had already been recorded in 2008, with Frost on drums, Teloch and Ice Dale on guitars and King on bass. However, citing lack of enthusiasm Gaahl quit God Seed at the With Full Force festival and ultimately retired from metal music.[3][4][5] King then reincorporated the music which was intended for the God Seed debut album into Ov Hell, and Shagrath wrote and recorded the lyrics and vocals. The album, called The Underworld Regime, was released in Europe in February 2010 by Indie Recordings, and in the US in April 2010 by Prosthetic Records. [Wikipedia]

Devil’s Harlot—-Having been a few weeks without any new and tremendous black Metal releases, imagine my hunger for this CD. At once you feel warm and brutalized as the sounds of mayhem invade you speakers and Shagrath gets away from conceptual Metal and just growls and pukes his ass off instead. This is really great…the music is layered and aggressive…there is no mistaking the drumming of Frost and there is no playing around with the vocal…this is 100% real.

Post  Modern Sadist—-Wow….this has a huge classic intro full of Black Metal sounds sure to please everyone who is a fan of the genre…from the cranking of the S&M machines to the monks chanting in the background…once the song begins, it is done in a pure and moderate tempo that actually allows your neck to rest a bit from the last song. The track has a remarkable melody that Shagrath feeds into with his vocal really well. The drumming is actually done at a human pace…this is fantastic!!! Who knew…what a great marriage!!!

Invoker—-Building from the previous song, once this short intro in over, you find yourself right smack back in the middle of the best Norway has to offer. This is a huge song…the drums are incredible…the pace of the song is manic and the vocal seems from the depths of hell. The surprise is the accessible and damn catchy chorus…this is phenomenal….the best I’ve heard in quite a bit.

Perpetual Night—-Nice!!! This is lined with evil and darkness from the first strains of the song. Remarkably delivered, Shagrath at times almost sings in a clean voice!!! Again, there is a nice melody all through this song and the chorus is an almost fun brutal sing-a-long that draws you to relisten again and again. This is remarkable….how did this almost get by me?

Ghosting—-With an appropriate intro for the song title, the guitar of Hell is masterful and strong in the beginning bars of this track. This is huge and electric with a clearer sound than you would expect…none the less, this is Black Metal at its finest. The crunch of the guitar as the song really opens up allows the band to develop a nice melody line that fits in with the drum delivery in tandem. This is huge, strong and remarkably written. When Shagrath does enter the track, he pukes out his vocal is a manner that has you reaching for the lyric sheet, but that is part of the fun of it all. This is huge, medieval fun!!!

Acts Of Sin—-Taking a moment to get started, once it does you think of old classic emperor or early day Dimmu…this is a huge muddy song that makes me want to grab some of the earliest and most basic Black Metal from my shelves. This is nice….the guitars are so on top of each other, you cannot sift through all of the sound. The vocal delivery is magnificent…pushing shagrath to places he has not explored in quite some time…it is nice to know the really evil and manic side is still there. This is nothing less that masterful!!

Krigsatte Faner—-Now….for me, this is the standout track. Full of foreign lyrics that give the song an even more monstrous angle, the music is layer and layer of noise that somehow comes together to create a type of disorganized melody. Frost delivers a drum attack that is heavier and more driven than anything you have heard from Satyricon in quite some time…this remains….brilliant….my favorite track!!!

Hill Norge—-With an overly long intro of sound effects and noise, the song begins with a vocal that is pushed way to the back of the mix in favor of Hell and Frost…once the main leads are over, the vocal moves back up and delivers what you expect, need and desire….this is phenomenal and I am almost devastated that this is all over. Well, push repeat….here we go again!!!

****3/4 out of 5


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