When it was announced that God Seed would be playing this small corner of the world, I was mildly astonished. Supporting a more established albeit very different metal band (Cult Of Luna) naturally helped a great deal to get the Norwegians here. But who cares who’s opening/supporting when the end result is the chance to witness one of metal’s greatest, most divisive characters and his band in the Grand-Duchy.
Arriving well in time for God Seed’s supposed start time of 19:30, it was somewhat alarming to count less than forty people sparsely distributed at the front/sides of an empty venue. Okay, so a few Gorgoroth and the odd Shining t-shirt made it clear that followers of the black arts were indeed here for the openers. But I’ve never seen this place so empty… Fast-forward half-an-hour and a couple of beers later and finally it was looking about a third full, as the band hit the stage. Phew!
As the five Norsemen (minus live keyboardist) proceeded with ‘Sign of an Open Eye’, the devil horns started to fly. Even though the guitars were a little muted – a theme for the entire set, and Gaahl’s vocals initially silent, there were few present who could resist staring. Either curious Cult Of Luna fans or the Gorgoroth/God Seed faithful: all (open) eyes were drawn to that obscure, statuesque figure with the microphone. As ever, Gaahl stalked solemnly between his guitarists, fixing individuals with his black gaze and a horned fist like some kind of anti-Pope. The rest of the band, opting out of corpse-paint, meanwhile pumped out each note with conviction and consummate professionalism in spite of the disappointing turnout.
First up from 2012’s ‘I Begin’ came brilliant opening track ‘Awake’. This, followed by the bewitching ‘Aldrande tre’ demonstrating firsthand the creative and technical capabilities of this post Gorgoroth entity. In terms of setlist, we got treated to an almost consistent rotation of God Seed and Gaahl/King Gorgoroth compositions, the latter of which the crowd was understandably more familiar with. Equally apparent was the near seamless juxtaposition of the two eras: ‘Carving a Giant’ rubbing monolithic shoulders with ‘From the Running of Blood’; a blistering ‘Wound Upon Wound’ giving way to the eery ‘Alt Liv’, and so on. Perhaps the greatest indication of tonight’s muted guitars was my difficulty to pick out those majestic details in ‘Prosperity and Beauty’, but such is life.
Come a final assault of ‘This from the Past’, during which Gaahl disappeared two-thirds of the way through never to be seen again, and God Seed were getting a response approximate to what they deserve. While it’s still relatively early days, it seems likely that God Seed will get bigger in every respect as they continue – not just based on previous reputation but because of the musical calibre of this line-up. Above all, thank Gaahl that this vocal genius changed his mind about metal retirement.
This: \,,/ for the future…
As for Cult Of Luna, well, rather shamefully I didn’t hang around. As the majority of punters were obviously there to see the headliners though, I didn’t feel too guilty about getting home for an early night on this rainy midweek night.
God Seed Setlist:
Sign of an Open Eye
Carving a Giant
From the Running of Blood
Forces of Satan’s Storms
Wound Upon Wound
Prosperity and Beauty
This from the Past
Review by Jamie