HDR - 020 : Ov Hollowness - Drawn to Descend
Released: July 29th, 2011
Details: Pro-CD, 12 page booklet/standard jewel case Limited to 500 Copies
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
From: A Dead Spot of Light E-Zine #14 (PDF)
http://www.archive.org/details/ADeadSpotOfLight...Number14 Released: August 4th, 2011
The second album by the Canadian band ‘Ov Hollowness’ has just been released and how the design of the booklet will be and what kind of information will be provided in it lies currently beyond the knowledge of the reviewer. This review is based on a MP3-download offered by the label.
This band has been covered extensively in this magazine so far, with two reviews and an interview; one piece on the side-project Arkodaemik appeared here as well. Therefore, in case someone is interested in some of the history, then earlier editions are the proper place to turn to.
‘Drawn to Descend’, the title of the latest output, continues where the preceding one has left off. The similarities in the atmosphere, in the concept, sound and arrangements are pretty striking. Nevertheless, to describe this album as a mere rip-off, compared with the debut ‘Diminished’, would do it an injustice, because ‘Ov Hollowness’ approached the art from a different angle with a variation of certain elements. Furthermore, a clear progression in the level of professionalism can be discovered and the rawness as well as the balancing issue seems to be relicts of the past that have been overcome. The listener will appreciate how everything is (was) balanced out as well as the new facets that appear now and then.
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.
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.
Released under: Creative Commons license: Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Germany
From: Black Metal Reviews
www.blackmetalreviews.com Published: August 5th, 2011
The first song on this album, ‘Old And Colder’, did nothing for me at all but thankfully ‘Drawn To Descend’ is an improvement. The title track contains a nice mix of raw and atmospheric Black Metal – pretty simple and straightforward stuff, well composed and executed. A good enough tune, but again not great…
However, the third opus, ‘Desolate’ is a vast improvement. This one is slower and much more atmospheric than its predecessors and suggests to me that Ov Hollowness is in his comfort zone when speed is eschewed in favour of atmosphere. ‘Desolate’ is a truly excellent track that would be at home on most creditable ambient / depressive BM albums. Pity the same can’t be said for ‘Winds Forlorn’, which is tedious and boring to my ears (not to mention the clean vocals, urgh). Sort of put me right of… ‘Drone’ is almost on a par with ‘Desolate’ and ‘The Darkness’ is more thrash than black (i.e. a complete waste of listening time).
To be honest, this isn’t the kind of Black Metal I enjoy. It’s brilliantly composed and has a stellar production allowing everything to come through crystal clear, while I prefer something creepier and rawer. I believe anybody who enjoys melodic and / or ambient Black Metal should enjoy this because it does what it does well. Without meaning to be patronising, I can see this being extremely popular. But it’s just not for me.
www.metal.de Published: August 19th, 2011
***This is a Google Translated version of a German Review. You can read the original HERE
Active since 2009, has the Canadian one-man project Ov Hollowness with "Drawn To Descend" in July of this year, published the third output, now for a demo (simply called "Demo 2010" titled) and the self-released "Diminished" For the first time with a label in the back (the small Canadian label Hypnotic Dirge Records). In two years, so three publications -. Particularly in the area of depressive black metal are not uncommon, however, suffers, as history has proven, wants to have some musical quality to the frequent release policy so some band But you would OV HOLLOW NESS called "Depressive Black Metal "no justice, because even if" Drawn To Descend has "a predominantly depressive-lost atmosphere, is found in the band's sound much, much more then just three repetitive riffs that are repeated ad infinitum. To sharpen the rough style, you could say that atmospheric Black Metal Necro without swagger, but still meets with some old-school flair, a rock attitude, full of melancholy and sorrowful feeling. A little closer look, this means: "Drawn To Descend" four heart pieces offers a deep atmosphere, "be pulled" actually the title in the music reflects, surrounded by two more rock pieces, the opener "Old and Cold" and the bouncer " The Darkness ". The skirt part - by the way, is heard throughout the album, but in his heart does not get the place in its frame - but is not a post-rock, as some might if the so-modern Post-Rock-/Black-Metal-Mischung might expect, but rather copied the classic hard rock. That works for much of the album very well, but looks sucking out after repeated listening a bit and just in the four tracks that make up the bulk of the album, makes itself but a certain monotony - in a negative sense - wide. succeeds Thus, it marks R., to create a solo entertainer behind OV NESS HOLLOW, with "Drawn To Descend" a total work of art that is in title, text and music, and one goes on top of that a musical direction with some recognition. No, of course, is the mixture of black metal and rock is not something entirely new, but "Drawn To Descend" has such a strong atmosphere that the album is also happy to forgive the one or the other weakness. An interesting release from the underground, the quiet one must sacrifice a bit of time, but which is not the ultimate expression of feelings.
Reviewer: Stephan Möller
From: Alternativ Musik
www.alternativmusik.de Published: August 26th, 2011
***This is a Google Translated version of a German Review. You can read the original HERE
Not even a year after the debut album Diminished appeared to report Ov Hollowness back with their second album. With the first album seems to have so few left to feel, so that the second plant now being distributed by the Canadian Black Metal label Hypnotic Dirge Records will. What you hear on the album, one can at best describe as straightforward, because with sophisticated arrangements keeps you in Drawn to Descend on only rarely. Instead, you concentrate on the name of the album to do honor: surrender to the decline. And it definitely works.
And even without much around how the word would guess "no frills" already: For the six long songs have only a foundation of guitar and bass, which produce a depressive mood and drag on endlessly before him. Pierced by guitar riffs that are reminiscent of traditional heavy metal. This sounds even clearer vocals now is screaming.
Drawn to Descend is a moody and depressive black metal album, but has the disadvantage that it is too predictable, which sometimes makes for a certain monotony. What the album would have done well, would be more surprising moments. So you can enjoy the album though, but you always know what will come next.
Reviewed by: Tristan Osterfeld
From: Lords of Metal E-Zine
www.lordsofmetal.nl Published: August 31st, 2011
Apart from the rather silly band name there isn’t much wrong with ‘Drawn To Descend' by Ov Hollowness from Canada. This one-man band plays relatively simple atmospheric black metal. Noisy guitars produce riffs quite strongly reminiscent of old Katatonia and placed on top of these are melodic lead guitars that very strongly remind me of Windir. Moody? Quite. One can blame the band a lack of ideas but the songs do exactly what they should do: create a pleasant nostalgic atmosphere. The album is pleasant listen even though it is a bit too long. Decent album without adding much to the black metal canon. <
Reviewed by: Roen de Haan
From: Pest Webzine
www.pestwebzine.ucoz.com Published: August 31st, 2011
The second full-length album of this Canadian one man project, released a year after its debut, "Diminished", but this time Ov Hollowness started working with a label, Hypnotic Dirge, as the first album was self-released. The 6 tracks presented here are lasting for almost 50 minutes so you can easily guess these are long tracks, but the best thing about them is they are not boring at all. Without being nothing extraordinary or highly innovative "Drawn to Descend" manages to portrait some pretty good dark and melancholic tunes that fit perfectly the depressive lyrics. Good Black Metal screams supported by Bathory-like clean vocals, melancholic, repetitive guitar lines that try to explore some beyond Black Metal areas, and simple drumming and bass line that are quite effective and even though I think the drums are programmed, they are not annoying at all. A good release that I kindly recommend to all Ambient Black Metal followers out there.
Reviewed by: Adrian
Teeth of the Divine Webzine
www.teethofthedivine.com Published: September 1st, 2011
So we have a one man band called Ov Hollowness from Canada, on a label called Hypnotic Dirge Records, with long songs and titles like “Desolate”, “Winds Forlorn”, and “Drone”. I’ll give you one guess as to what style of music this is.
The best (in my opinion of course) of Hypnotic Dirge’s recent trio of releases (Funeral Fornication and Evoke Efrits being the other two), Ov Hollowness is one Mark R performing all instruments and vocals. In the realm of depressive, one man black metal, he fares quite well on this second effort of his.
Not as full on suicidal or atmospheric as his two label mates mentioned above, Drawn to Descend is more about somber, mid-paced steady riffs and melancholic droning. I hear elements of fellow Canadians Woods of Ypres in some of the song structures, but there’s also a few bursts of more traditional black metal (vocals, some tremolo gallops here and there) scattered around the moping gait.
I really like the production tone here, rather than water thin; reedy guitars, the tone has a nice resonant buzz with an actual, tangible rhythm section and solid (albeit programmed) drums. It allows tracks to breathe with a depressive simplicity rather than slit your throat with over the top atmospherics and psychosis.
The 9-minute opener “Older and Colder”, being the first impression is where immediately thought of Woods of Ypres, starts out with a steady and catchy but somber main riff laced with some effective solo work and a nice mid-song break. In direct contrast “Drawn to Descend” starts with a melodic frosty blast beat and rasp showing Mark R has a grasp of that style as well as a melancholic marches like the next track “Desolate”, “Winds Forlorn” and “Drone”; all rangy, hypnotic dirges with simple riffs and just enough despondent mood to identify with other depressive black metal acts.
However, the album does end with a bit of a head scratcher in “The Darkness”. A sort of rock/thrash number that opens with a almost AC/DC -ish riff, I scrambled in the CD booklet to look for some sort of credits to see if it was a cover song as it simply does not fit in with the bands themes or the CD’s tone and atmosphere. That being said, I’ve not heard the band’s previous album, Diminished, to determine if this style is more prevalent and this is a mere remnant and Drawn to Descend‘s depressive style is a new shift. Either way, while being a bit of an album ending let down, it does not deter from the other 40 or so minutes that deliver some solid music from a label that’s finding a decent little niche and digging up some nice Canadian (and other international) depressive black metal acts.
Reviewed by: E. Thomas
From: Post Christ Webzine
www.postchrist.com Published: September 6th, 2011
***This is a Google Translated version of a French Review. You can read the original HERE
A year after the previous album, the one-man Canadian band returns with an album which is in many ways more of a proper debut since the previousy album contained tracks from the original demo. We find the main characteristic of this group for a lively music but never quite complex, in which the voice is ultimately not very present.
Musical structures have not changed: the pieces are still quite long (over 8 minutes except the last track which varies a lot from the rest), the pace is fairly homogeneous in a song (but not between pieces, as can be seen between the 2nd and 3rd pieces), some good breaks, and cyclical riffs and expressive. The compounds are quite nice, like a good first piece, full of finesse and atmosphere, usually in the finest of the group. But after multiple listens it begins to get a little bit repetitive. Side "hippie" of this type of bm is profitable only to the requirement to present truly memorable melodies and atmosphere very present. If the album does not lack potential in the field of inspiration, it remains insufficient. A note on this serious downside to the last piece, which is a little "madness" which itself lost half a point in the overall rating: very old school, or rather downright heavy-thrash, it denotes fully with whole. We take comfort in noting that without this piece the album still exceeds the 43 minutes, but it's a shame to finish a piece like this!
A word on the display. The last album did not provide a high quality one, this second album is even worse: While sobriety is always appreciated, that by providing a dark and Nature immersed in a game of brown not necessarily unpleasant, but it disappears as soon as you open the booklet to a visual only in black and white. The atmosphere is pleasant again, but not very relevant. It is indeed not the highlight of the album, but it has the merit of providing a general atmosphere already quite credible.
This is a quality album, far from the melody or some annoying drunk bm too atmospheric for others that deserved a more thorough examination. Symbiosis fairly successful, but still a little fishing by compounds that are ineffective.
Reviewed by: Baalberith
www.schwarze-news.de Published: September 12th, 2011
***This is a Google Translated version of a German Review. You can read the original HERE
I now just throw the audacious claim in the space that the best black metal currently comes from Canada. Thanks to the land of the red maple tree, we have bands like Sorcier des Glaces, Monarque, or Forteresse Neige et Noirceur. Accordingly, I have quickly with the promo of her husband's country of "Ov Hollowness" slammed his second long player, entitled "Drawn to Descend" spilled over in July of Hypnotic Dirge Records, came to us. Among the bands listed and labeled "ambient black metal" but I had had something else entirely in mind when the disc to us entertainer Mark R. presented with this disclosure.
Where it would be nonsense, of course, flat bands according to their countries of origin to be lumped together. In fact, I can Ov Hollowness with any of the local colleagues really compare. Rather, a sound or other title, as if the Lord rows on tour in Norway have been thieves. If you suspect behind the one-man
Another project is a 3-DSBM reef project, it is proper on the wrong track, and underestimates the artist immensely. "Drawn to Descend" turns from the beginning, when unexpectedly complex. No post-rock, no trends, but in the two pieces of "Old and Cold" and "The Darkness" significant hard-rock influences that can not miss because of the texts still a depressive mood. And the term "ambient" is rather misleading and should probably be related to the debut, because on this record synths are little or not at all.
Instead, it is one mentioned classical pathway. Besides a wonderful Black'n'Roll be here quite well once commanded spherical riffs. And in the play "Winds Forlorn" pays homage to the man then probably Immortal croaker Abbath and her neat tribute. Here, even with the recent clean vocals but then I remembered to post-BM Austere and sizes as do the preceding, an unexpectedly good feeling cold Scandinavian demolition. A real "center" or his own style here seems to find the man over the full length of the disc, unfortunately, not what makes gives the whole a very healthy variety and more than once pointed ears and listen attentively. Could you really complain about the most neglected, some drums. Here the man seems a bit lifeless and can not really convince. However, if you ever wanted to know what happens when hard rock mixed with Immortal and post-black metal should be able to see over it and risk an ear.
Mark R. goes off, to steal riffs and screeching of Abbath, Black'n'Roll the attitude of Darkthrone and clean vocals by Austere and ready - "Drawn to Descend" sees the light of day. Actually comes to me almost everything on this album somehow familiar and yet different from before. Even if some parts of the disc umpteen times already heard from other bands, in this situation we have not got those sounds to the ears. Even when I think about the long-term fun with the disc, of course, would presume no opinion, I can only say that especially in the review mentioned titles have direct ignition, and I can feel myself so confirmed in at least one generalization quite: From Canada comes the time simply the best Black Metal!
Reviewed by: Gypsy Boy
From: ZWaremetalen Webzine
www.zwaremetalen.com Published: September 22nd, 2011
***This is a Google Translated version of a Dutch Review. You can read the original HERE
Ov Hollowness is a Canadian one-man band with a preference for black metal. This is the second album, professionally put on record thanks Hypnotic Dirge.
The music on Drawn To Descend has a partly melancholy, partly and partly melodic ambient side. The riffs remind me Forgotten Tomb and the Norwegian version has something. Only the hypnotic ambient karankter a Canadian, for those familiar with the many ambient (black) projects in that country, which all have a link with natural phenomena of cosmic matter. Also remarkable is the epic atmosphere Drawn To Descend possession, as you include the number Winds Forlorn inherits. An almost Viking-like approach à la Iskald , perfectly balanced with melodic black metal. The computerized percussion you must have bijnemen.
Entertaining picture with enough variety and faces a big three minutes to spend it. Listen can not hurt, if you have time.
Reviewed by: Bart Alfvoet
From: Forbidden Magazine
www.forbidden-magazine.com Published: October 1st, 2011
A strong performance matched with clear and direct production creates a well-crafted atmosphere on the sophomore release from Canada’s Ov Hollowness, Drawn to Descend. Although the album opener, ‘Old and Colder’, did little to grab my attention, the remaining tracks proved to combine the right amounts of melody, progression and attitude throughout, making for a solid listen.
At times, I felt as though the melodies being used became redundant, particularly the whole step minor to major chord change, while the utilization of a double-time feel change only caused an alarm on the previously mentioned album opener. Scathing vocals chill the blood from start to finish and the guitar work, whether taking an aggressive rhythm or ambient arpeggiated approach, does its job well, regardless of the songs demand.
The album shortest, most curious and final track, ‘The Darkness’, may prove to be my favorite for multiple reasons. The driving rhythm, half-time chorus and blues based, guest-spot guitar solo, are so cliched and out of place on this album that I wondered if it was a cover song I was listening to. The fact that Ov Hollowness was willing to place this up beat and ‘fun’ track at the end of an otherwise depressive metal masterpiece deserves its own rewards and recognition.
From: Headbang Webzine
www.headbang.it Published: October 2nd, 2011
***This is a Google Translated version of an Italian Review. You can read the original HERE
The Canadian project on behalf Ov Hollowness release the second full-length (first to have a proper distribution by Hypnotic Dirge Records ) titled Drawn To Descend making out with a melodic black metal and suffered enough. All this is offered only by Mark R. packages for the occasion a prodottino that will delight those looking everywhere constant feeling sad / negative. The tracklist includes six songs, five of these we can define "conventional" because of their nature "classically melodic / depressed" and considerable time. While the last piece instead ( The Darkness ) shrinks from throwing everything in a kind of immediacy that the experiment done in my opinion slightly ruined everything up made me feel good at first. exciting guitars and sharp as blades introduce a wonderful Old Colder and where an immense simplicity does not preclude the pleasure of listening to something totally heard and "sensitively challenging." The voiceprint of Mark R. is not too extreme, the voice goes hand in hand with the music (always so controlled) and follows more than anything else that wants a foundation of atmosphere that makes the whole sound structure. Following are my favorite piece, the tracklist is a whirlwind half claimed that releases its tight riffing (but always melodic) and its real charms of verse sound (just as it evolves to hear the song and the amazing paintings of guitar reference), spells that really will be able to subjugate anyone. And 'warm crunch that we find in the third song called Desolate , the song seems to want to blindly following what the word of its title is, and here the project Ov Hollowness can say definitely satisfied with the result. One can not emphasize (and not notice) the ability metric Mark R., our music also leaves room for long stretches but when he does it intrudes in a convincing manner and managed to wrest several times a few tears of sincere emotion . Winds Forlorn not impressed, but perhaps as the previous time will internalize its properly sealed and gloomy passages (than normal). Drone instead ends up turning plots of typical depression / doom (both for the music for the voice) going to build such a step "remarkable difference" with the last (half and half thrash Celtic Frost ) The Darkness . I can not help but push for Drawn To Descend to the public only eager to cold and distant harmony. The disc can be one of the catchphrases of the new autumn / winter.
Reviewed by: Dukefog
From: Metal Reviews
http://v2.metalreviews.com/ Published: October 10th, 2011
Here is something to prod at the curious minds of more adventurous black metal fans. Ov Hollowness may- to an extent- appeal to those that were drawn in by the moody rock-influenced melancholia of erstwhile blackened bands like Todtgelichter. Indeed, I’d characterise its best moments in largely that way. Drawn to Descend, though, also embraces a wholeheartedly traditionalist bent at other points, meaning it is a difficult record to draw decisive conclusions about. Disparate influences may run together with results that are sometimes distinctive though rarely explosive. Conventional black metal mingles with some much more vividly melodic rock influences and gloomy gothic chord progressions. Sometimes these combinations evoke surprising grace and power, though at other points this will to experiment vanishes perplexingly, leaving us with something a bit more pedestrian.
Perhaps the second most interesting artefact here (we’ll get to the first later) is first track Old and Colder. It is a curious blend of ideas, shuffling through a melancholic chord progression that might grace the strains of a Paradise Lost album, with a floating, slow rock beat to back it up. But this is all delivered with a crackling guitar tone more reminiscent of depressive Quebecois Gris than anyone else (Ov Hollowness is also from Canada), and the vocals have a deeply unpleasant blackened rasp. The effect is distinctive: the blacks and greys of the vocals and guitar tones bleeding into the mellower melodic tones of the harmonies and rhythms.
The odd combinations of this opening, of course, colour the listener’s perception of the rest of the record, and its memory perhaps makes the more orthodox tracks feel somewhat anticlimactic. The title track, for instance, is really quite unremarkable: a long expanse of relatively nondescript blasting which lacks the ferocity to really convince as black metal. It doesn’t really justify its eight minutes running time. Similarly, Winds Forlorn is a plain, rather dry, trudge through mid-tempo black metal with the odd melodic trimming.
But at other times- mainly where it strays further from the blackened influences- Ov Hollowness gets things just right. Desolate is a darkly convincing mix of striding post-rock gloom, alternating with cutaways to creepy Burzumic sound effects. However the best track here is closer The Darkness- coincidentally also the shortest. It has a hard rock swagger, which is corrupted by the blackened crackle of the guitar tone and vocals but still manages to incorporate a proper legs-akimbo lead solo (the album’s undisputable highpoint). All in all, the mixed-bag nature of Drawn to Descend perhaps reflects its roughly equal division between orthodox black metal and a more characterful blackened rock hybrid. It’s the latter which are more original, and probably also better executed.
Reviewed by: Charles
From: Metal Crypt
www.metalcrypt.com Published: October 21st, 2011
Black Metal is not my favorite subgenre of Heavy Metal so it is a bit unusual when something comes along that makes me want to listen over and over. Drawn to Descend from Canadian one-man outfit Ov Hollowness definitely fits that bill. The hallmarks of Black Metal are present in the form of tremolo guitars, blast beats and raspy, often intelligible, singing, so on the surface this album doesn't seem a likely candidate to stand out. What lone member Mark R. has done is preserve the harshness of Black Metal and combined it with skillfully written songs that are melancholic and melodic as well. Rather than just try to be supremely evil or ruthlessly cold, the songs on Drawn to Descend actually create a mournful atmosphere where the emotions flow with the songs. Songs like "Old and Colder" and the title track shift effortlessly from harsh and fast to slow and melodic without ever sacrificing continuity. This isn't raw, neither is it symphonic, with only occasional keys and sound effects. Everything stems from the songs and performances. The album ends on a bit of an anachronistic note with the riff-centric "The Darkness" and its Thrash-influenced guitar solo.
Ov Hollowness has given us an excellent Black Metal album in Drawn to Descend. Good songwriting and strong performances will do that for a band.
Reviewed by: Metal Mike
From: Aristocrazia Webzine
www.aristocraziawebzine.blogspot.com Published: November 14th, 2011
***This is a Google Translated version of an Italian Review. You can read the original HERE
In 2010 I was presented with the debut album of Canadian Ov Hollowness entitled "Diminished", the solo-project of Mark R. was self-produced and had left some very good memories to the undersigned so as to seize the opportunity to leap to write the next "Drawn To Descend" Hypnotic Dirge Records marked hour. I was a little 'and various banned after several passages in the stereo, it seems that the artist does not have the slightest intention to go beyond the standards that he had previously established (even if the last track is unexpected, alright). The compositions are long, the average length is about eight minutes long. "The Darkness" which stops at almost six minutes, setting continues to grow around a Scandinavian melodic mood welcome to my ears but now more than in the recent past seems to repeat with insistence, the cyclical riffing on which is literally installed a melancholic vein has pronounced so the talent to intrigue, but at the same time suffers deja vu factor that lurks around the corner. We have a "Drawn To Descend" that merges primal black metal and atmospheric without excessively pointing your feet, support environment makes it still more "soft" with respect to a proposed raw, with the exhilarating "Desolate" turn up the other side of the coin, the one linked to the sensations in the skin with lots of acoustic guitar or weigh you down if you want to lighten the load , surely there is in the air that you will feel a renewed desire to sink, of oblivion in the sea of nothingness. Tolte Mark these two becomes far too celebratory, "Winds Of Forlorn" has all the features that made the previous album a good job: melody, a good set in the epic riffs and above all, that hint at full blast growing but lacks something, clean voice and spirit to support windiriano not affect, however, they may: And 'more complicated, however, to connect with the subsequent "Drone" who returns to "buzz" with more penetrating guitars recalling "Desolate," but do not carry the same emotional strain, and nothing more pleasing song while it is totally impossible but with the closing "The Darkness" which turns on a heavy / thrash / black (with a guest solo by Jason S. adrenaline) unexpected and completely misaligned with the rest of the platter. The piece by itself is not bad either, having to consider, however, an integral part of "Drawn To Descend" leaves bitter taste in the mouth. The production aspect had not been a problem and neither is this time, the sounds were well cared for and the end result is testimony to the mixer behind the work was done with good results. Ov The Hollowness wanted to surprised? There are certainly better managed or in part puzzled me, that "The Darkness" is the turning point that Mark R. wants to take his project? I do not know, honestly I do not know, I can only tell you that if you enjoyed "Diminished" you will also find in "Drawn To Descend" a portion of what you liked, the rest will pass under your careful and painstaking but it must be judged by being listened to.
From: Hard Rock Magazine; Issue #37
www.hardrockmag.fr Published: November 17th, 2011
***This is a Google Translated version of a French Review.
The original review is published in the physical magazine 'Hard Rock: Issue #37'
The second album for this one-man Canadian band that sails in the territories of the most melodic black metal, now with consistently well-balanced compromise between black atmospheric crude preserved and haunting black-specific depression. With limited use of keyboards, Mark R. often builds its long pieces around riffs cavalcade of reasons some repetitive mid-tempo here and there broken by discrete parts slightly prominent: traditional black surge of reinforcements blast beats and a rough edge introduction or otherwise of clear vocals. The set is marked by a moderation of the most extreme style, at the risk of a small lack of character and relief. It is further unfortunate that Ov Hollowness decided to change its leading black metal on the last track by impregnating it with a rock feeling in a thrash based song that feels completely irrelevent to the album as a whole.
Reviewed by: Jessica Boucher-Rétif
From: Nocturnal Cult Webzine
www.nocturnalcult.com Published: November 25th, 2011
Being my first exposure to this entity from Alberta, Canada I was unsure as what to expect from their sophomore album. However, Hypnotic Dirge Records usually grabs my attention with their artists, so I figured I would be pleased with what my ears heard. I was so right. And what did they hear? A somewhat surreal concoction of melancholic black metal. Old and Colder starts the album off with forlorn notes that bring to mind a black metal version of Katatonia. Nighttime riffs with nice fuzz set a sorrowful mood while kicking into a rhythmic flow. These movements are accented by sad melodies and suicidal vocals. As soon as you settle into expectations for what the songs are going to sound like on this album, the title-track bursts out of the speakers as a pitch black dose of blasting black metal. There is a subtle melodic flow to the riffs as they slowly shift through their progression which is not unlike Satyricon's Dark Medievil Times. And then we change gears once again, for some desolate suicidal black metal on the appropriately titled Desolate. The way the riffs initially begin reminds me a lot of Brave Murder Day era Katatonia. However the devil is in the details and the song features some Burzum-y synth and a rainy-day coldness that ensures the song will provide zero warmth to the listener. Some interesting clean guitar begins Winds Forlorn and then the song shifts into upwards stroking epic black metal riffs. The usage of muted clean vocals at the 3:10 mark (and elsewhere in the track) is a nice touch. The final track takes things in a different direction, with an almost goth-rock texture. However, the overall mood remains the same, I mean aside from the total rock guitar solo. Drawn To Descend is a journey through various stages of melancholy. Let the forlorn nostalgia overwhelm you.
Reviewed by: Bradley Smith
From: Metal Revolution Webzine
www.metal-revolution.com Published: November 25th, 2011
Ov Hollowness is one-man Canadian metal outfit formed some years ago. Drawn To Descend is his latest material containing only six lengthy tracks of a relatively simple and atmospheric black metal. It is a decent, well-produced and nicely composed album, yet without major surprises. It barely adds much new to the overcrowded black metal scene, but it still sounds refreshing and entertaining.
What Ov Hollowness is good at is the ability to create this pleasant and almost nostalgic black metal atmosphere, which is rarely heard nowadays. The guitar parts are noisy, yet sometimes blended with melodic touches. When it comes to the drumming; it sounds blasting and hellish, while the vocals are raspy and harsh.
As said above, the songs are very skilfully written, being a great mixture of melodic and atmospheric as well as mournful and emotional ones. I like this almost spontaneous use of keys and other sound effects; just in order to spice things up a bit and add something to break the inevitable monotony.
Especially recommended for fans of Katatonia, Opeth, Saturnus, Windir and similar acts.
Reviewed by: Bato
From: Thre Nodies Webzine
www.threnodies.com Published: December 18th, 2011
How often did I spoke about the release-policy and the somewhat infinite creativity of some musicians/bands? The flood of releases is pending between extremas as Vinterriket (including side-projects) or really small ones like Ov Hollowness. Sometimes the boarders between side-projects and the main band are disappearing and exactly this happened here…
The release-policy of Ov Hollowness is, like I said, not really gross. Only three outputs (one of them was a demo) in two years isn’t really shocking. You could count one more release in, if you think of the EP he released with Lost Resolve as this is an one-man show as well. 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.
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
From: Hierophant-Nox Webzine
www.hierophant-nox.com Published: January 3rd, 2012
Such is my aversion to the ‘word’ OV, I might not have picked this up on my own, so thank your evil aunts for Hypnotic Dirge Records, whom I trust unfalteringly to direct me towards overlooked gems. Founded in 2009, Ov Hollowness, the work of solo artist Mark R, had an acclaimed debut, “Diminished” under its belt already, the grim yet melodic mystique of which fans looked to “Drawn To Descend” to surpass. Ov Hollowness craft a wonderfully nostalgic incarnation of atmospheric black metal, all melancholic, doomily-mired melody and tortured, distorted leads, but re-cast with a panoply of crafty, modern touches that keep it interesting, current and creative.
Opener “Old And Colder” isn’t a bad representation of the whole; with its painful, depressive melody that is at once sad and warm, morose and bold, its clean, dreamy lead, its restrained but harsh black metal vocal and its prominent, mood-setting bass, it sets a standard of quality that Ov Hollowness maintains throughout the album. This track gets grander in its later reaches, but despite incorporating depressive elements hangs back from the more histrionic, shrieking climaxes common to that genre, a balance which I think suits the sound well. Indeed, “Drawn To Descend” frequently gives the impression of being carefully planned, from the well-produced finish to the thoughtful, bleak lyrics.
There’s not a lot of variation across the album – bar the unexpected and delightfully crunch black’n’roll/trad metal inflected closer, “The Darkness” – or even during the tracks themselves, but that just means the onus falls on the listener to pick out the subtle flashes that add such quality to Ov Hollowness’s work. “Drone” plays around with repetition very elegantly, and when it strips back to just a howling, distorted black metal lead guitar, it thrills profoundly. The interwoven ambience on stand-out track “Desolate” is a great example of how these genres should be blended, and the use of clean vocals on this track is a revelation – it opens up the whole album as an imaginative, miserable space. Dreaminess is usually countered by a rolling, thundering blast, while trippy rhythms balance against gutsy, driving riffs, especially on the title track.
Overall, then, while “Drawn To Descend” is traditional, it pulls on some of the greatest progenitors of the atmospheric style, and while its tracks are often built on a few key ideas, subtle variations and a very light touch when it comes to writing an accessible, memorable, moving and well-balanced song maintains listener interest. Hearing those old, Katatonia-style melodies alongside chiming, sheeny ambience and a guitar tone that occasionally evokes Shining’s most recent efforts just convinces you that Mark R has a taste for the finest things, and the talent to mould them to his own will. A very solid album indeed.
Reviewed by: Ellen Simpson
From: Pit of the Damned Webzine
http://thepitofthedamned.blogspot.it Published: April 22, 2012
***This is a Google Translated version of an Italian Review. You can read the original HERE
Lately, I'm finding that the Canadian soil is another area with a constant swarm of very interesting band. Today we approach another of these, of course, put under contract by the ever more present (in our archives, I mean), Hypnotic Dirge Records and we can not but be happy. Another one man band that of Ov Hollowness, almost like a constant for the North American label, and always speak of sounds very heartbreaking. The factotum on duty, that is the enigmatic Mark R., presents six long traces, marked by a melancholy riffing, very clean, but definitely a strong emotional impact. Since the opening track, "Old and Colder," let us carry in the gray and desolate environment created by Mark, where, clearly influenced by the sound of early Katatonia, with long spans "burzumiane" and dall'epicità of Windir, was the only risk sin in terms of precision. The song is in fact pleasant in the first minutes, then repeat the same riff (for 9 minutes!) Exposes the whole to a certain boredom of the bottom, even if, however, the inclusion of some parts atmospheric and epic scores guitar, which overlap the basic rhythmic, enliven the proposal. I thought with the second track, the title track, to find myself faced with another song from the ambient and nostalgic touch, but here is a healthy black blow to corrode everything with its fury, but always imbued with a certain flavor of dark despair. "Desolate" returns to induce self-destructive desires to whomever will listen to it with that aura of "Count", constantly to hover over his head, thanks to the classic accompaniment of buzzing guitars, a heinous, how good screaming and the occasional appearance of clean vocals, for a final result sometimes very valuable, and which finds its climax in the next "Winds of Forlorn", a mid time, showing some reminiscence of school Amon Amarth, can give more space, test the evocative clean vocalist. Slowly we are reaching the end of the album: still missing the "Drone", claustrophobic song as its title may be assumed and let the dynamic almost suicidal. In closing we think "The Darkness", rough track, in line with any old school thrash and black productions that clearly distinguishes it from all other song of the lot; strange but effective, especially in light of a solo that much rock and roll stands out on a rhythm that seems borrowed from "Kill'em All" by Metallica. In conclusion, "Drawn to Descend" is a valid disk, but still show some shortcomings from a compositional point of view. However, to keep a close watch!
Reviewed by: Francesco Scarci
From: Pure Nothing Worship Magazine
Issue #1 Published: September 15, 2012
Drawn to Descend is the second album of this one-man-band from Canada. After quite good debut called Diminished we get this atmospheric and raging masterpiece. There is less keyboard parts and there is a bigger focus on guitar sequences which make up for the large part of the atmosphere on this album. The drums are produced and programmed in the best possible way, almost perfectly. The hammering in the second song, the best one for me, is incredible and the way in which it follows the guitars. The enormous creational progress and maturity can be felt compared to the first album. On the final track, The Darkness, uncharacteristic black metal riffs can be heard, almost heavy metal. This song is a brave move from the creator of this piece. I can't say it’s a bad move, also I can't say it’s a good move as the song falls out from the whole atmosphere of the album. All in all, this is a great album, especially the song Drawn To Descend which is amazing.
Reviewed by: Alex
From: Pest Webzine
Published: June 1, 2014 Original Link: http://www.nocleansinging.com/2014/05/28/the-synn-report-part-47-ov-hollowness/
A serious progression from the debut, the second Ov Hollowness album streamlines and sharpens the song structures whilst simultaneously expanding its scope and vision.
Whispering winds introduce “Old and Colder” before a steady, pulsing snare beat and a dark, drifting riff weave their way out of the gloom, intertwined with moments of sombre harmony and frigid, splintered aggression. The sound of the song – indeed the sound of the whole album – is something akin to Nachtmystium, albeit if they dabbled less in narcotic misanthropy and more in nuanced melody, layered with bleak, bare-bones riffs and weeping guitar leads.
“Drawn to Descend” is a torrential downpour of scattergun snare beats and searing blackened chords, through which Rafferty’s scalding vocals deliver a flood of palpable intensity and venom. Coiled, menacing hooks insinuate themselves into the listener’s brain with every winding tremolo part and brooding melody line, belying the grim, windswept atmosphere conjured by the track’s sweeping darkness and despair.
Waves of crashing chords and a stream of marching percussion characterise the early bars of “Desolate”, before being interrupted by an interlude of resonant, ambient emptiness. From this central void emerges a complex tapestry of sound, where charred, blackened riffs are overlain with chiming, reverberant melodies and tense, tormented vocals, while moments of fluid acoustic guitar or echoing atmospherics interrupt the visceral metallic flow at key points, offering a new angle on the song’s barren, ruinous composition.
The florid, folk-tinged guitars of “Winds Forlorn” straddle a line between primordial romanticism and mournful metallurgy, heavy with promise and portent, powerful yet restrained, bristling with vibrant hooks and virtuoso harmonies, while the visceral, versatile vocals move smoothly through a variety of styles, blackened rasps shifting seamlessly into ominous passages of spoken-word or despair-filled clean vocal counterpoints.
“Drone” is 8 minutes of haunting doom and gloom set to a soundtrack of woeful guitars and marching drum beats, black as pitch and chokingly dense. The wrenching, cathartic vocals screech and snarl with wounded abandon as the song’s funereal pace drag the listener deeper into misery and despair, before the album concludes with the uncharacteristic, yet effortlessly infectious black ‘n’ roll swagger of “The Darkness”. Its strutting, primal riffs and sharp-toothed antagonism end the album in a fully unpredictable fashion.
Reviewed by: Andy Synn