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Date Formed 2009

Categories: Black Metal


In June 2006 the infamous Hyllestad based Black Metal band GORGOROTH split in two, this action resulting in legal battles over ownership of the band name. GORGOROTH parted ways with bassist King ov Hell (a.k.a. Tom Cato Visnes), issuing a statement "King has recently had problems fronting some of the ideological aspects of his band GORGOROTH's agenda. As a result, it has now been mutually agreed upon that henceforth he is no longer a member of the band."

Founding band member Infernus was released from prison in March 2007. It then transpired that both Infernus and King were equally stoic in laying claim to the GORGOROTH band title as both musicians utilised the brand for career advancement. Patentstyret, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office, granted King the legal right to use the GORGOROTH name and logo for commercial purposes.

In December Infernus revealed his version of GORGOROTH was to include Tomas Asklund of DISSECTION and Frank Watkins from OBITUARY for a new album entitled 'Quantos Possund ad Satanitatem Trahunt' through Regain Records.

In 2008 Gaahl revealed that he was gay, the first high profile Black Metal musician to admit so. Gaahl's former boyfriend, 20-year-old Norwegian modeling agent Dan DeVero, subsequently told Norwegian media that he had received death threats from the Black Metal community by phone and e-mail.

'True Norwegian Black Metal - Live In Grieghallen' was released in June 2008 via Regain Records. However, the Swedish Hovretten appeal courts in Malmö upheld a decision by authorities at Tingretten in the matter concerning Regain Records' unauthorized release of the album. Regain Records was found in violation of copyrights and agreements made with Gaahl and King.

King's GORGOROTH entered the studio on 25th August 2008 in the band's hometown of Bergen to begin recording eight new tracks composed by bassist King ov Hell. Along with Gaahl, King and Frost, of 1349 and SATYRICON, on drums, the recording line-up included guitarists Teloch, of 1349 and ORCUSTUS, and Ice Dale (Arve Isdal) of AUDREY HORNE and MALIGNANT ETERNAL.

That September Infernus filed a lawsuit against King ov Hell asserting that King, being pointed out as being the sixth bass player in GORGOROTH's history, secretly applied for trademark protection of the GORGOROTH band name and logo in September 2007, which Infernus had been using since 1992.

In early 2009 the legal battle over the GORGOROTH title was finally settled as Infernus secured the rights to the GORGOROTH band name. According to a posting on Infernus' MySpace page, "The court has decided that King ov Hell's trademark registration of the band name GORGOROTH is NOT valid and shall therefore be deleted. The court states that King ov Hell and Gaahl excluded themselves from the band GORGOROTH when they tried to fire Infernus in October 2007. The court further states that Infernus cannot be excluded from GORGOROTH, unless he himself decides to quit." Gaahl and King duly switched title to GOD SEED.

GOD SEED made its live debut at the 'Hellfest' event on 19th June 2009 in Clisson, France. The membership for this show involved King ov Hell, Gaahl, Teloch, Ice Dale and 'Garfhuf' (Dani Robnik), from UNLOCKED and NEFARIUM, on drums.

Gaahl then decided to retire from Metal music, this move prompting the morphing of GOD SEED into OV HELL, as King united with DIMMU BORGIR singer Shagrath. Recordings again featured Teloch, Ice Dale and Frost.

Garry Sharpe-Young
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