After the disappointing Gorgoroth fallout in October 2007 (and the subsequent legal battles and disgrace), I thought it would be next to never before I heard King and Gaahl join forces again. But, here we are with a record put out just 5 years later, and the duo are showing that the sound they created for their era of Gorgoroth, is truly THEIR sound. Some of you are familiar with the "Underworld Regime" album released by black metal super group, Ov Hell. Well that set the stage for what was the eventual return of God Seed, which was the original plan for King and Gaahl after Gorgoroth. Gaahl retired from music for a while, intending it to be permanent; so King moved on with Ov Hell instead of God Seed. With Shagrath, Frost, Ice Dale, and Teloch on board, Ov Hell was what many believed to be the next major band in black metal. Those plans fell through, obviously, due to the conflicting schedules of the members. Shagrath has Dimmu Borgir and Chrome Division, Frost has Satyricon etc. Thankfully, Gaahl chose to return!
Now that you know the short version of this band's rise, let me tell you how I feel about this record. I think that in all honesty, "I Begin" is what would have been Gorgoroth's best album. I say that with all the respect in the World for Infernus, and the legacy he has created with his band. BUT, I think Gaahl is a much better vocalist than Hat, Pest, or Atteringer. I think Gaahl is one of the best vocalists in the entire history of black metal. He is THAT good, in MY opinion. I also believe that King is a better song writer than Infernus. Again, with all due respect to Infernus, who is a true legend in his own right.
The songs range from fast, sharp songs that make your sonic sensors bleed; to slower songs that make your entire body feel your blood flowing like lava. They all have that signature King/Gaahl era Gorgoroth feel. Fans of Gorgoroth know exactly what that means. It's a very dirty, dark and dangerous style of music. You can literally feel those things.
It's a foreboding experience to listen to this record. From top to bottom, it is like walking through a post-war field of death and destruction. I recommend this to ANYONE who hasn't heard it.