Ov Hell- The Underworld Regime

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, May 1, 2010

After Gaahl decided to leave the black metal world many people wondered what would happen to the material that he and King had worked on under the God Seed moniker. As it turns out, King was able to keep a lot of the riffs he had already written and partner with Dimmu Borgir vocalist Shagrath to form the appropriately named Ov Hell. On their debut album The Underworld Regime the group hits listeners with a combination of mid and fast paced black metal riffs, and despite the fact that the songs feel a little typical at times it is a decent debut.

A lot of talk has been going on around the Internet about how many of the riffs on this album were basically Gorgoroth leftovers, but when listening to The Underworld Regime it becomes clear this is not the case. Whereas Gorgoroth had songs that were extremely fast paced, the majority of Ov Hell’s material focuses on mid-tempo riffs with the occasional fast section to break things up. However, the riffs are sure to remind listeners of plenty of the other black metal bands out there and this does make the album suffer a little bit. However, there is a solid base in place and some memorable moments so it seems likely that this project will get better with time.

Shagrath has typically used slightly lower pitched growls in Dimmu Borgir, so listeners may be surprised to find that he spends a lot of the time on The Underworld Regime utilizing high pitched shrieks. Some people have felt as though Shagrath has been holding back on newer Dimmu Borgir albums because of the band’s emphasis on symphonic arrangements, and Ov Hell’s material may end up proving this as he really seems to be giving it his all on each of these songs. He is definitely a suitable replacement for Gaahl and should continue to work well with King’s ideas down the road.

Ov Hell has some noteworthy moments and for a band that literally finalized its lineup about six months ago The Underworld Regime does seem a little more impressive. But as of right now some of King’s arrangements feel a little too typical and that does hold the group back. With a little more experimentation and riffs that really grab listeners this project could become another worthy black metal band but as of right now it’s not quite there yet.


Leave a Reply