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God Seed - "I Begin" (CD)

God Seed - "I Begin" CD cover image

"I Begin" track listing:

1. Awake (4:43)
2. This From the Past (5:18)
3. Alt Liv (4:08)
4. From the Running of Blood (5:19)
5. Hinstu Dagar (4:55)
6. Aldrande Tre (4:45)
7. Lit (5:17)
8. The Wound (4:45)
9. Bloodline (3:44)

Reviewed by on November 14, 2012

"Was all that waiting and suffering through the public drama worth it? On a musical level – absolutely. On a sound quality level – sweet Satan no, it was not."

After all the legal name battles and fake musical retirements have finally ran their course, the long-awaited project that is God Seed finally sees an actual release to the Norwegian black metal-starved masses. Was all that waiting and suffering through the public drama worth it? On a musical level – absolutely. On a sound quality level – sweet Satan no, it was not.

Be aware heading into “I Begin” that the sound quality is bad on a Mayhem-style level. Pull out the headphones and crank the volume…so you can hear louder and closer how the record was apparently tracked inside a tin can (but it was probably a tin can used in a black mass and consecrated with goat’s blood, so I guess that makes up for it). It sounds like the mix was done this way on purpose as well, as tracks like “Alt Liv” have segments that bring out the bass sound nice and clear.

As far as the main sound goes, there’s actually quite a bit happening musically across the album. “This From The Past” sounds quite a bit like Deathspell Omega, while the previously mentioned “Alt Liv” has a feeling of Rammstein colliding with black metal. “Hinstu Dagar” has that epic, drawn-out Viking doom atmosphere along the lines of Zemial or early Ereb Altor, but still manages to keep the track under five minutes, so that’s quite the feat. In fact, there’s surprisingly little in the way of direct, straightforward black metal to be found here.

The background of most tracks features a variety of prog and avant-garde based sounds, but they are generally hard to make out with the low sound quality. These melodic, electronic or orchestral elements also frequently mesh too far into the surrounding noises. Songs like “The Wound” showcase this problem, as there’s not enough distinct space between instruments and vocals for anything to have a big impact.

As a divergence from Gorgoroth and an evolution of black metal, God Seed’s debut is refreshingly unique and interesting, but it’s marred by an awful mix and faded sound. Hopefully, “I Begin” will receive a follow-up album titled something along the lines of “And Then I Got Better Production And Thus Kicked Serious Ass.”

Highs: Interesting twists on black metal and lots of progressive sounds.

Lows: The sound quality is frankly awful, and it essentially ruins the album.

Bottom line: God Seed is black metal evolved, but the sound quality ruins the end result.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)