God Seed

I Begin

Written by: EW on 18/01/2013 22:09:02

God Seed come with considerably more baggage on their first full-length release than surely almost any other metal band in history. That spat between King ov Hell & Gaahl vs Infernus for use of the Gorgoroth name was ultimately responsible for "I Begin", an album which is thankfully more notable for it's mix of Pink Floyd-esque spacey atmospherics and the return of Gaahl following his "retirement" from metal in 2009 than it is as a tool to further bash these BM lifers any more than was self inflicted during the court case. As intimated in the immediate introduction to opener "Awake" the band are on a mission here to make up the considerable lost ground following all the bitching and legal fights that have done noone concerned any favours and while it doesn't fire on all cylinders it is a more solid effort than anything Gorgoroth have mustered in recent years.

On first impressions "I Begin" could be described as a fairly accessible mid-to-fast paced, eminently Scandinavian, black metal album based around a clinical production capturing the nuances of the galloping rhythms at it's core, but the liberal use of mood inducing keys generate a feel separate to the usual deployment of bland fluffy keyboards normally reserved for black metal. Taking Nachtmystium's cue in how to blend mysterious, swirling atmospherics into a blackened template, the result in tracks "Alt Liv", a Dimmu-esque slower epic track built atop a towering choral motif, and in the overtly Enslaved feel of "Hinstu Dagar" with it's clean sung vocals, give God Seed an extra dimension of credibility against the thousands of also-rans who peddle a much more prescribed brand of black metal. "Aldrande Tre" is an attack on the jugular following the pomp of it's precedents with swirling hypnotic riffing reminding one of old Anaal Nathrakh or Jotunspor, the defunct Gorgoroth side-project of 2006, while "Lit" continues the hard/soft pattern by slowing the tempo to allow the dissonance of the guitars and a clean spoken voice to be better heard before the break-in of positively-tinted keyboard chords.

"The Wound" further displays the fretboard gymnastics harnessed in earlier tracks for a flighty assault on the frosty black metal template before "Bloodline" closes out the piece in a spacey, electronic mood. It makes for an interesting end to an album that tries hard, and for the most part, generally succeeds in providing something different to the seasoned black metal fan. The production is clinical and frosty and the performances a solid harnessing of blackened intent, capped off by a fine performance from Geir Bratland (Dimmu Borgir live) on keys. "I Begin" does not sit within any of the current black metal cliques as the 90's Norwegian heritage shines through, but it is nevertheless a solid amalgamation of those traditional values with a modern, unexpected twist.

Download: Awake, Hinstu Dagar
For The Fans Of: Nachtmystium, Dimmu Borgir, Gorgoroth, Jotunspor
Listen: Facebook

Release date: 23.10.2012
Indie Recordings

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