Mar 152012

(TheMadIsraeli reviews the debut EP by Ovid’s Withering.)

Well Trollfiend, you got what you wanted.

Trollfiend asked me after a post of mine a long time ago (I don’t remember which one) if I ever thought Blackened-djent was possible or if I knew any existed.  At the time, at least to my knowledge, none existed.  That is until now.

Ovid’s Withering are exactly that:  Black metal and djent combined to create one of the most epic aural experiences I’ve gone through.  I honestly didn’t think it was fucking possible, people, and while this isn’t an entirely pure blackened djent experience (lots of tech death is present as well), a boundary I didn’t think breakable has officially been broken.  This band is also quite relevant to my interests, and I assume all of us here at NCS as well — this band has 7 Horns 7 Eyes vocalist JJ “Shiv” Polachek doing his beastly savagery on the mic.

This is Ovid’s Withering’s debut EP, The Cloud Gatherer.

The black metal present here, to some people’s pleasure and I’m sure to the disappointment of others, is not old school, but more of a late Emperor flavor.  If you didn’t like Prometheus – The Discipline Of Fire And Demise (my favorite black metal album), you may not even like what you hear on The Cloud Gatherer.  But  those who loved the progressive, wonky, almost sinister, circus-like mood of that album will be in love with what’s going on here.  Combine it with a style of djent that is very much  of the Swedish persuasion (Meshuggah, Vildhjarta, Means End) and mix it with the death metal ferocity of bands like Nile, Fleshgod Apocalypse, or Septic Flesh, and you have Ovid’s Withering.

What ensues is a face-raping and a multifaceted, blood-and-bone-fragment splattered ass-whooping.  In only 3 songs this EP leaves you battered, bruised, but wanting more.  This band pulls out all the stops.  When they aren’t covering everything around them in hellish firestorms with their blazing speed, they are warping the time/space continuum with perplexing grooves or soaking the listener in a tidal wave of powerful, classic, black metal symphonics.

My suggestion from this point on consists of a three-step plan.

1: Listen to the EP on the embedded Bandcamp player

2: Realize how futile existence is without this shit in your life

3: Download or purchase this since it’s choose your price

I leave you with “The Cloud Gatherer”.  Also, I love the fuck out of that art.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ovid’s Withering are at work on a full-length album planned for release later this year. At the moment, it appears the band’s fans have used up the monthly allotment of free downloads on Bandcamp, so there is now a minimum purchase price for the EP ($3) until the free downloads begin again next month. Here are band links:



  1. Funny enough, I found them on Bandcamp yesterday. They are fucking amazing.

  2. OK… You mentioned Emperor (of Prometheus era no less), Meshuggah, Vildhjarta, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Nile and Septic Flesh. One thought that one should lower one’s expectations before listening, having read those names. And it managed to exceed one’s lowered expectations. In other words, it sounds pretty much exactly like you described it. 🙂
    Not quite sure about the label “Blackened Djent” though – “is it Blackened enough?” one thinks.

    Note to the editor: the Facebook link goes to the Bandcamp page.

  3. Holy shit. This rules.

  4. I’m not a huge fan of black metal, but I think the last thing black metal needed was chugging breakdowns. This was… decent, I guess. The two styles feel shoe-horned together, though, like trying to create a new animal by stapling a cat to a dog. It sounds unnatural and forced. I’m sure the kids will love it, though, because now they can tell their friends that they like black metal.

    • There is far more going on here than chugging breakdowns. You’re such a Kvrmudgeon =p

      • Haha… I’m the last person anyone would consider a kvrmudgeon. I just don’t really care for it. Old Man Windbreaker has it right in that there’s not really that much black metal there; these guys owe just as much to the symphonic death metal bands out there (Haggard, Septicflesh, The Project Hate MC3.14159) as they do to symphonic black metal. The chugging breakdowns just feel squeezed in there, like they wanted to add something to appeal to the djent fans, and the end result is that the whole thing feels really contrived.

    • There really isn’t that much Black Metal influence that one can hear though. One mostly just hears Vildhjarta + Fleshgod Apocalypse (or would that be Septic Flesh?).

      • You seriously don’t hear it in the high screams and some of the symphonic choices? Or even the mood?

        • Sure. But one doesn’t think immediately of Symphonic Black Metal. One thinks of Symphonic Death Metal / Symphonic Groove Metal instead. Even Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire and Demise was quite “Necrosed” and, like Islander said, not straight up old school Black Metal.

          • But… he didn’t say that >_>

            • Of course, one is paraphrasing.
              He said, “The black metal present here, to some people’s pleasure and I’m sure to the disappointment of others, is not old school, but more of a late Emperor flavor. If you didn’t like Prometheus – The Discipline Of Fire And Demise (my favorite black metal album), you may not even like what you hear on The Cloud Gatherer.”

              And in one’s own opinion, Prometheus wasn’t exactly Symphonic Black Metal, so much as it was Symphonic Extreme Metal in general.
              … As is the recording being commented upon, in one’s opinion.

  5. Yeah… it’s not very blackened.


      • While we’re on the topic of “blackened-ness” (or should it just be blackness), one is curious as to whether Giant Pandas are blackened enough. They do grow their own corpsepaint shortly after birth…

        And what about apricots? One watched a video of a Black Metal apricot farmer on YouTube once (which apperas to have been taken down since).

    • Not to jump in on the blackened fist fucking but yeah, I don’t get many black metal vibes. That being said I still think its some tasty shit.

  6. Who cares what genre it is? There is no genre for this awesomeness. It’s just a great EP with great artwork!

  7. Wait, wasn’t this The Faceless?

  8. I was actually just thinking the other day that blackened djent would be the most hilariously unlikely combination of genres ever. The only possible funnier option would be…djentgrind.

  9. Djentgrind is around…in a lot of places actually. Though the term may not be coined by the bands..but it definitely already exist. And though unlikely..this EP still blows me away!

  10. It’s painfully clear that I know next to nothing about actual music because I listened to this and was all “ZOMG BLACKENED DJENT!!!” And I like it.

    I’m sure folkdjent can’t be far off.

  11. I’m totally hearing the balckened part of this music, though it’s pretty thoroughly mixed with symphonic death. Let’s face it – the two genres aren’t all that far removed from one another.

    Oh, it also makes sense that they share members with 7 Horns 7 Eyes – these songs have the same powerful atmospheric presence that appears in 7 Horns’ output. I’m definitely looking forward to the debuts from both bands.

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