GOD SEED
Black Metal • Norway

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God Seed are a black metal band from Norway formed by former Gorgoroth members Gaahl and King ov Hell in 2009 following the conclusion of a court case over the Gorgoroth band name in favour of Gorgoroth founder Infernus, whom the former pair had attempted to fire from the band.

God Seed was only originally active between March and July of 2009. A debut album was intended to be released by the then duo during that year. Gaahl however made the decision to retire from the metal scene, which brought an end to God Seed. King ov Hell then took the music intended for the group's debut album and after teaming up with Dimmu Borgir frontman Shagrath, who wrote new lyrics. The album was eventually released as the Ov Hell debut album, The Underworld Regime, in 2010.

In 2012 however Gaahl and King ov Hell reunited God Seed, effectively putting the Ov
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.. Album Cover 3.98 | 4 ratings
I Begin
Black Metal 2012

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.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Live at Wacken
Black Metal 2012

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This from the Past
Black Metal 2012

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GOD SEED I Begin

Album · 2012 · Black Metal
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Warthur
Well, here it is at last - Gaahl and King ov Hell's very own God Seed project release their first studio album. Of course, if you happen to be one of those people who think they should have won the name dispute with Infernus (so... if you're Gaahl or King ov Hell, basically), you'd dispute that this is really their first album, since both Gaahl and King were the main composers in Gorgoroth for the studio albums leading up to their departure from the band, and perhaps this explains why this debut of theirs is so confident - they've stepped right back into the game where they left off and have issued a brace of black metal tracks which combine the traditional tone and aesthetics of the genre with mild experimentations both with more progressive and more accessible styles.

In fact, the final track - Bloodline - is a rather uncomfortable weird-erotic industrial piece, the biggest departure from traditional black metal Gaahl and King have been responsible for since Gorgoroth's Incipit Satan album. It's somewhat more successful than that album, though, so if this hints at a future direction for the band I'll be interested to hear what the future holds. Gaahl's return to black metal may not be a full-blown classic, but it's more than good enough to make me say "Welcome back".

GOD SEED Live at Wacken

Live album · 2012 · Black Metal
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Warthur
Just imagine: in a parallel universe, this is a Gorgoroth live album. Live at Wacken documents a performance by Gaahl, King ov Hell and a brace of collaborators (none of whom appear on the God Seed debut album) from the 2008 Wacken open air festival, which they performed under the Gorgoroth name since it was in the middle of the infamous Gorgoroth name dispute. Indeed, the DVD of the performance provided with this package makes it clear that as far as King and Gaahl were concerned, they were performing as the official Gorgoroth - the stage is decorated with nude crucified models exactly like the infamous Gorgoroth Black Mass performance in Poland which got the band so much attention.

Of course, it wouldn't last. Infernus won the court case, Gaahl moved on to other musical projects, and King released what music he had prepared for the first God Seed album under the Ov Hell banner. However, it seems Gaahl has had a change of heart and decided to return to metal, because all of a sudden God Seed have returned, King and Gaahl having acquired new collaborators, recorded a studio album, and put out this live release all in a startlingly short period.

The material here offers nothing that Gorgoroth fans won't have already heard; since part of the point of the performance was to assert that Gaahl and King were the "real" Gorgoroth, what we're looking at are a selection of tracks taken from Twilight of the Idols and Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam, two of the three Gorgoroth albums on which Gaahl and King both appeared. There are no tracks from Incipit Satan, possibly because Infernus was still Gorgoroth's primary songwriter on that album whilst on the other two King and Gaahl took on almost all the work, but as far as I'm concerned this is a plus since I found Incipit Satan to be decidedly disappointing.

As far as live runthroughs of the "best of" the Gaahl/King ov Hell period of Gorgoroth go, there's a lot to like about this album. Yes, there's no Infernus and so it's not really Gorgoroth (legally speaking at any rate), but even then I think Gorgoroth fans may find it an enjoyable release, with Gaahl and King on good form, their hired guns pulling their weight splendidly, and a track list which nicely complements the True Norwegian Black Metal - Live In Grieghallen release. (Indeed, aside from Forces of Satan Storms there's no overlap between the two.) I wouldn't go so far as to call it essential listening but I certainly don't think I wasted my time on it.

GOD SEED I Begin

Album · 2012 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
I Begin is the debut full-length album from Norwegian black metal act God Seed. Despite the shortest of their career thus far God Seed already has quite a story building around them, as the band was formed in 2009 by black metal veterans Gaahl and King ov Hell, following the conclusion of the Gorgoroth court case in favour of Infernus, the band’s founder, whom the former pair had attempted to fire. The entity that was God Seed at the time, which was just the two members, intended to release an album in 2009, however God Seed ultimately only existed for a few months as Gaahl decided to leave the metal scene. King ov Hell then formed Ov Hell, with Dimmu Borgir’s Shagrath taking the vocalist role, and the album which was originally planned as the God Seed debut was released as The Underworld Regime in 2010 as an Ov Hell album. Somewhere along the line however Gaahl must have changed his mind about leaving the metal scene and in 2012 he and King ov Hell brought God Seed back to life, completed the line-up, and released I Begin in October of that year. This move seems to have more or less put the Ov Hell project on ice.

Unsurprisingly the music on I Begin is black metal. Not the rawest or coldest sounding I ever heard a band come out with but pretty damn under-polished production wise in order to give the band that evil sort of sound that is often associated with the genre. Gaahl’s vocals help to create that kind of atmosphere a lot as he snarls his way through the tracks. While the music itself is most easily described as ‘traditional’ black metal there are actually plenty of parts in the music which fall closer to atmospheric black metal, which helps give I Begin a little variety but it’s not what surprised me most about the album. No, the aspect of the music which gets that distinction first and foremost was that there were several places in the album with underlying progressive influences, most notably in the opening track Awake. The final track Bloodline also changes the pace of the album, being much more something of an ambient/industrial sounding track. In some ways it actually comes across as a drawn out outro track though, as it’s only just shy of the four minute mark.

That is the only real semi-criticism I have for the album though. God Seed have done a little more here musically than some black metal artists do. It hasn’t resulted in anything particularly revolutionary within the style though but at the end of the day I think Gaahl and King ov Hell succeeded in doing what would have been expected of them; making a black metal album that was both faithful to the genre’s core values while also not falling victim to monotony and getting lost in the crowd. I don’t think the impact of the album would have been any less without Bloodline however, in fact if anything that track diminishes the record very slightly. It could easily have gone out with a bang at the end of The Wound, instead it’s almost as if it went out with a whimper. A great album tier rating is deserved regardless.

81/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org/god-seed-i-begin-t2758.html))

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