The inception of God Seed is a torturous tale and is one of many twists and turns and moments of vengeance. To understand the drive of this band is to go back to circa.2007. Vocalist Gaahl and bassist King ov Hell left Gorgoroth, the band they’d been a part of for quite some time, under acrimonious circumstances and claimed the name for their own. Court proceedings were brought by Infernus, the only remaining original member of Gorgoroth for the rights to the band name. Norwegian courts found in favour of Infernus and so Gaahl and King ov Hell took the name God Seed (a Gorgoroth track name) for their new venture. Fast forward to 2009 and God Seed disbanded due to Gaahl’s announcement of his retirement from the metal scene. King ov Hell took the songs meant for the God Seed debut and turned them into tracks for a reconfigured project, Ov Hell. To add the the tumultuous atmosphere, Gaahl publicly came out during this time and considering his involvement with some of the most infamous moments in Norwegian black metal history, this declaration really stood him apart from his peers. It was a massive step for him personally and professionally, and one can only assume that the consequent actions he took were part of a much larger shift in his life than was reported at the time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing after all.
Skip to 2012 and God Seed finally unleash I Begin on the world. The record is one of distinctly powerful and melodic black metal sounds and Gaahl has never sounded so full of truth and hatred. His vocals have only gone from strength to strength in the time that he’s been away and I Begin is a much tougher record than anything God Seed would have released all those years ago. Time is wondrous, and God Seed and in turn Gaahl, certainly needed to step away from their almost claustrophobic environment in order to produce the work we now have before us.
There’s a curious and disturbingly uplifting tone to the record at times, and it's as if God Seed are revelling in a new found promise of despair – after all, there is beauty in the hardest of moments and the band follow a path of heightened pain during “Hinstu Dagar” that’s divinely melodious yet innately insidious. Creeping around a crunching bass (King ov Hell) line and sweet synth-led passages, the track is side of these Norwegians that hasn’t yet been heard. “Lit” burns with a fiery purpose and “The Wound” rips with low, bellowing shouts and completely insane held screams – the techniques wonderfully varied and equally as mental.
I Begin is terrifically maniacal in tone; the sawing buzz of the guitars (Sir, Lust Kilman) plays off Gaahl’s vocal with deft and heavy aplomb whilst a wicked and devilish atmosphere upheld by the coursing tones of Geir Bratland’s keyboard. There’s a little experimental touch to the record, heard most clearly on the closing track “Bloodline” and it’s here than God Seed’s importance is most noticeable. The breathy sighs that pour over a flickering feedback noise lead I Begin into slightly ambient territory and a martial industrial beat echoes behind the occasional high scream. It’s almost black noise in tone and structure and it’s apparent that God Seed are willing to break the constraints of black metal and stray into other soundscapes and incorporate new and unfamiliar elements into their music.
God Seed have begun.
8.5 / 10
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