In his third recap from the excellent Beyond the Redshift Festival 2014, Matt bring us coverage of Norwegian black metal masters God Seed, who arose from the ashes of Gorgoroth a few years ago. Let us dive straight in…
Right, onto the stand-out band of the day, and as I’d seen CULT OF LUNA before, the one I was most looking forward to. Norway’s GOD SEED, formed following the rather public and bitter falling out between Gaahl and King Ov Hell and founder Infernus over the direction and legal right to the GORGOROTH name. A long story short is that Infernus was ruled to be the owner, and thus GOD SEED was born (they actually performed at Wacken in 2008 as GORGOROTH, but this was later released as GOD SEED).
Background out of the way, this was a treat for the senses. Whilst black metal is not everyone’s cup of tea, this is not what you would expect if you’d seen performances akin to the style previously. Rather than presenting the savagery of acts like GORGOROTH, 1349 and DARK FUNERAL, this is a rawer, stripped back affair. Gaahl is the only one wearing face-paint and whilst to the outset it looks unusual for only one member to be doing so (King Diamond?), they have discovered a balance that works. This is not the speed-circle-headbanging, pyro-necro-blood-fest that is often associated with this type of music and that decision may well come from circumstance, but I can’t help but feel there is more to it than that…
Additionally, the actual music of GOD SEED is actually noticeably mature; it’s not just a typical collection of dark lyrical content and blast-beats. It is, almost, black-metal prog. There is the necessary atmosphere and fury, of course, but it hasn’t been rushed together. There are elements of disharmony and it often goes against the grain of what is considered by some to be true-Norwegian black metal. Personally, I find this a perfect representation of not only a true form of expression, but a true indication of what Norwegian black-metal was always about. There is brutality, demonstrated with tracks such as ‘From the Running of Blood’ and ‘This from the Past’, but tracks like ‘Alt Liv’ and ‘Lit’ both bore elements of the immersive nature of what bands like BURZUM, BATHORY and EMPEROR have also managed to do, often peerlessly. Johannes of CULT OF LUNA comes out and performs vocals alongside Gaahl on the former track and the reception is understandably loud.
The set is full of a few GORGOROTH covers not only due to the fact much of that music was written by members of this band but because they have, unfortunately, just the one album released as GOD SEED (although there is a record on which Shagrath of DIMMU BORGIR performed vocals in the absence of Gaahl, 2010’s ‘The Underworld Regime’, but this was released by OV HELL). Not that I am complaining in anyway of hearing a number of GORGOROTH covers; those in attendance watching this over SLEEPMAKESWAVES at the Boston Music Room across the road are almost certainly wishing for more and more of them.
It’s a very, very strong performance from a band that have had their fair share of controversy. Gaahl commands the stage with a presence that is formidable but in no way tacky or arrogant; he is a reserved character, out-spoken and strongly passionate about his opinions whilst retaining a very gentle manner (in a way I find similar to IHSAHN). He thanks the crowd but says little else; a fine demonstration of poetic, and indeed artistic, majesty.
(Additional side-note, but speaking with KING earlier in the day, I did query when we were likely to expect new material and his answer, though somewhat disjointed, suggested material was slowly being written and a new release should come in 2015.)
- Sign of an Open Eye *
- Aldrande Tre
- Carving a Giant *
- From the Running of Blood
- Forces of Satan Storms *
- Exit – Through Carved Stones *
- Wound Upon Wound *
- Alt Liv **
- The Wound
- Prosperity and Beauty *
- This from the Past
* GORGOROTH Cover
** w/ Johannes Persson (CULT OF LUNA)
Other reviews from Beyond the Redshift 2014 are available here on Rock Sins including reviews and photos of the excellent Irish post-rockers God Is An Astronaut (please use this link here) and post-metal / drone legend JK Broadrick’s band Jesu (please use this link). Further coverage is still to come so stay tuned to Rock Sins.