Archive for god seed

Kampfar: Djevelmakt

Posted in Black Metal with tags , , , , , , on February 2, 2014 by Badass and Grim


With the temperature outside dropping to bollock hide and seek levels, it seems appropriate that a new black metal review should grace the B&G interspace. As this is my first encounter with Kampfar a brief biog is as much for my benefit as for yours. Formed in 1994, and with their first full length release in 1999, the band then took a lengthy hiatus before reforming in 2006, since when they have release four subsequent albums. If you hadn’t guessed by now these guys are from Norway, and there is a good dose of the viking metal strain in their sound. The album art and design elements are taken from a 1981 oil painting by polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński.

To place Djevelmakt within the current musical constellation, I’d go somewhere between God Seed’s “I Begin” and “Ylem” by Dark Fortress, which is nothing but a compliment; here is another black metal act whose sound is full and interesting, and not hampered by a self imposed preconception of what the genre “should” sound like. Most of the songs incorporate keyboards, synths, or strings, but without them becoming the focus, rather adding texture to the raging blade cyclone of the guitar riffs.

“Swarm Norwegicus”, the album’s single, is a moody, inevitable stomp, funereal in tone, which leads into an anthemic chorus, building with the use of a synth which doesn’t overstep the mark. The stand out track on the album is “Fortapelse” with its extended keyboard introduction, leading into a series of melodically interesting and memorable rhythm progressions on the guitars. Another great track is “De Dødes Fane”, with its haunting spoken word refrain and Windir-esque central section, I have absolutely no idea what this dude is talking about but he sounds as bitter as a bucket of lemon rinds.

A great black metal album with a good balance between lacerating grimness and catchy-ass guitar riffs. Recommended for fans of Windir, Vreid, God Seed, Dark Fortress. Now, please excuse me while I go sit still for 8 hours until Behemoth’s ‘The Satanist” is released.



God Seed – I Begin

Posted in Black Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2012 by Badass and Grim


By now most of you with a prior knowledge of this band with also be familiar with the story of its formation; the result of the acrimonious split of Gorgoroth, the follow court battle between Gaahl, King (Ov Hell) and Infernus, and Gaahl’s subsequent retirement from metal. The notorious frontman has not been idle in the intervening years, being a prominent contributor to the pagan folk project Wardruna, as well as trying his hand at acting. However, it seems that the allure of getting back into studio with King was too strong, and so the long awaited God Seed debut has finally surfaced.

I was probably not alone in having expected Ad Majorem Sathanas Glorium Part II, well that’s not what we got, and as it turns out that is to my absolute delight. “I Begin” is a fair description of this album, a genuinely fresh creative beginning for Gaahl and King. Those expecting face smashing brutality may be disappointed, but Infernus’ Gorgoroth are continuing that vein comfortably, and what we have here is a totally new style. In a way we’re in the same situation as when Max left Sepultura, although there was initial trepidation about the split of one of our favourite bands the result is two awesome (if stylistically diverse) successors.

There is a real fusion of 70s rock in here which does nothing to detract from the black metal style. Yes there are keyboards, but they don’t suffer the common lack of credibility that many Symphonic “Black Metal” acts are prone to. The wall of synthetic sound does not overpower the music but rather adds atmosphere and depth, and successfully achieves the difficult balance for BM of innovating without leaving the genre, only the really dogmatic True Kriegsters will turn their nose up at this strong body of work. Gaahl’s contribution to this record once again remind us why he is one of the leading vocalists in the genre with tracks such as Alt Liv switching between spoken word and his distinctive howl.

To conclude, I can only restate my approving surprise at this new stylistic direction, adding another great act to Europe’s black metal constellation, one unafraid to experiment with the perceived boundaries and the musical judgement to do so successfully.