Reviewed by Gird_09
The second product to be released after the aformentioned conflict over the brand name Gorgoroth is Ov Hell's The Underworld Regime. Ov Hell was originally planned as a collaboration between Gaahl (vocals) and King ov Hell (bass), called God Seed. Gaahl bowed out however, and King ov Hell recruited Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir fame to do the vocals for the a new project Ov Hell. This knowledge, toghether with the cover of the album makes me fairly sceptical. Dimmu Borgir hasn't exactly won my heart over – you might say. Ov Hell has been dubbed a supergroup, which is no wonder considering the names on the sleeve, and the projects they've worked with. In addition to King ov Hell and Shagrath Ice Dale (Enslaved etc), Teloch (Umoral etc) and Frost (Satyricon, 1349 etc) have contributed extensiviely, while Silenoz, also from Dimmu Borgir has written some of the lyrics.
Thankfully however Ov Hell doesn't sound like Dimmu Borgir part two. Ov Hell is less infantile (with the screaming obvious exception of the track Hill Norge) and less over produced or over arranged. Still, it does retain some of the pompousness of Shagrath's more well known project – especially in visual design. The musicians are more than capable, and there is no way to fault the music, or production. To me the music sounds like a half breed child of Immortal and Dimmu Borgir, with Frost on drums, and that's all well and fine, if a bit redundant. I would much rather recommend Immortal's latest album "All Shall Fall", a much better album in the same landscape.
The tracks Invoker and Krigsatte Faner stand out as the most interesting tracks to my ears, as they have more drive and weight than the rest of the album. While tracks like Post Modern Sadist feels a bit too over the top. The progressive elements detract from the energy of the music, while the complexities aren't developed enough to merit attraction on their own. I'm glad most of the album leaves out the temptation to toy further with these elements. The final track, Hill Norge, however, is quite simply embarrassing and childish, and would've been better left at the scrap heap.
The result is something akin to pop-black-metal, and I'm certain it will strike a nerve with a great deal of listeners. Personally I don't feel it, but I think it's a simple matter of taste. I'd prefer more brutality and more credible "darkness" – for a lack of better words. It's definately not a bad album though and I'm sure I would have a different reaction if it were released a decade ago. Now however it feels a bit like something I've heard too many times.
Norway, Indie Recordings, CD Album 2010
1 Devil's Harlot
2 Post Modern Sadist
4 Perpetual Night
6 Acts of Sin
7 Krigsatte Faner
8 Hill Norge