December 14, 2012 | , | 3.5

God Seed, I Begin

God Seed: I Begin

Having split from Gorgoroth in 2009 in a fairly public legal battle, King and Gaahl have been crafting what would ultimately become their debut full-length as God Seed. Picking up where the duo last were with their former band, I Begin has key elements of the pair’s past material (which is, of course, to be expected) but does well to not mimic previous efforts.

I Begin is more than just straight-forward black metal. This is anything but, by-the-numbers. Sure the overall sound to the nine songs on this release are dark, foreboding and grim, but there’s also a pile of 70s era psychedelia, a decent amount of keyboards and even a hint of prog thrown in for good measure. Opening track “Awake” is a pretty standard blackened affair with blasting drums, distant guitars, cold vocals and unrelenting delivery. Though “Awake” does feature light keyboard and proggy electronic work, it’s not until “This From the Past” that we begin to hear those psychedelic influences and keyboard/organ work seep into the bleakness. The overall effect is eerie to say the least.

“Alt Liv” (seen/heard below) is a dark song that gives off a cold and devious vibe throughout its duration. The song flows nicely through spoken passages to anthemic riffs and vicious growls. It’s one of the more “epic” sounding tracks on the album. “From the Running of Blood” is a bestial track as it explodes with malevolence right from the start with an old-school presence. It’s probably the most traditional song on I Begin. “Lit” features a touch of electronic influence in it’s slowly flowing desolation. God Seed revisit their roots with plenty of angular riffing on “The Wound” as it chills straight to the bone.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I was expecting something a little different with I Begin. Sure I knew we’d be getting some Gorgoroth-inspired black metal and that’s certainly here, but the inclusion of the industrial/electronic elements just don’t do it for me. I like the 70s psychedelic keyboards that we heard on the first couple of songs, but then those were abandoned for more atmospheric noise. At any rate, the album is a solid debut and should prove more than enough to whet the appetite of fans for future releases.