Godgiven (Metal) - Hungary

Godgiven is an alternative/groove metal project, formed in 2012 from members of the hungarian stoner/grunge band FFZ and the electro-metal band Xtigmatic. The band has seen lots of line-up changes through its history, and the musical style has been refined accordingly. We started as a nu metal-influenced “punk metal”/hardcore band, while now it’s really hard to exatly define our style. We can say that the essentials of these eclectic influences came together on our first full-length album.

In the first 2-3 years we’ve been touring inland, supporting the most decisive hungarian metal bands like VHK, Blind Myself, Subscribe, Cadaveres, Apey and the Pea (Lazarvs), Leander Rising etc. After the hungarian rounds we decided to try ourselves in broader boundaries, so firstly we’ve done many tours in the mid-eastern european region, after we went west, and fortunately all these initiatives were successful, it seemed like there is actual potential in our music abroad!

After 2017 we’ve slowed down a bit to breed the concept and write the material for a full-length album. The line-up changes also slowed us down moreover, so finally in 2019 we could start recording the album. The whole process was full of misfortune: technical difficulties, lost songs and tracks, outages of producers etc., so the whole material was together right at the beginning of the pandemic. So we decided on not releasing it while we cannot show it live, but leading it up in steps, with multiple singles. After all, on 11st of June, our first album, Not that Godly will finally be available worldwide, on all platforms.

"Not that Godly" Album Review
The opening track "Doggiven" is a two minute track that sets a heavy precedent for the rest of the album. It's aggressive, fast and creates carnage in its wake. "Gerontocrap" continues the Metal onslaught. The riffs are crunchy, the breakdowns are plentiful and the vocals have a dynamic range that bring to mind Max Cavalera. "The Business Show" opens with heavy instrumentation that should induce some serious moshing. The driving pace of the track continues into a more frantic pace ala early Everytime I Die. The breakdown later in the track brings to mind early Slipknot in its destruction. "Museic Clown" begins with some bass riffs and vocals akin to Snot and their style before blasting full speed into a more Metal dominant style. The track doesn't hold back and it solidifies itself as a fan favorite with its diverse Metal sound. "Ramp-age" creates what the title suggests...rampage. The track has their signature sound written all over it and showcases that perfectly. "Strayght" is the longest track on the album, clocking in at four minutes. The band takes the listener on a heavy journey through the wilderness of their sound with some fast riffs, solid breakdown and vocals that keep things interesting throughout its runtime. "Membrain" has serious Nu Metal vibes to it. The track is slower, heavy, moody and creates a different pacing. "Geocide" kicks back into the runaway freight train pace and really falls in line more with the opener than the previous tracks. "Self is Team" will be a crowd favority with its rollercoaster like delivery. The track has tons of depth and should be a repeat listen. "Poorgatory" is a closer that wraps up the album nicely. It summarizes what the band is all about and that's unrelenting in your face Metal that deserves your attention.

Godgiven showcase their no holds barred approach to Metal perfectly with their newest album.

-Interview- (7/21/21)
1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Godgiven" and is there any meaning behind it?

The name "Godgiven" was found by two of us at the same time, independently. It refers to raw power, some instinctive and marked phenomenon, you cannot bypass. So it has nothing to do with religion or such things, but sounds kickass. The sound was developed a similarly intuitive way: we had our rich influences which we built in and after years of experimentation, the concept have finally cleared by now. Which concept is to provide this face-to-face, honest experience with large scale of inventories both musically and lyrically. Honestly, all over my entire music activities, I’ve been searching for a sound and a music that totally fits my taste, but never found the perfect match. So I decided to find a way to create it! Formerly, I've played Death/Thrash/any Metal, Punk, Hardcore, Stoner and stuff, but this project was dedicated to find my own voice, based on kinda alternative metal, which we extended with elements of metalcore and punk etc. over the years. Then in the end, all of these influences came together to something we cannot actually define, but seems to be coherent and characteristic. Really close to the thing I’ve been searching for!

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

The same thing I got as a kid from my personal favorites like Pantera, Kilgore, Nirvana or Snot: even just a handful of people who identify with our spirituality could cleanse and get in balance by listening our album from front to back. This is the reason why we keep being an album-band. This way we can provide a journey with a broad scale of topics that can lead the listener out of everyday frustration holding them back, so to grow to be a more enlightened person.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

A rough, unpolished, live sounded metal music, rooted in the 90’s and 2000’s groove/alternative/nu metal music, including influences of harcore punk. All this formulated in an actual way. The content is quite honest and might be hurtful by its confrontational manner, but handled with an open mind, it leads to develop to a higher level of uptake. This thing has nothing to do with the actual trends, so the target audience can literally be anyone with a familiar spirituality. That's why it’s worth giving a shot no matter what scene you're from!

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Well, three is way too strait, but I'd pick Faith No More, Cancer Bats and Stray from the Path then. Damn, how about I'd add Comeback Kid, but orders are orders.

5. How has Covid affected what you do as a band?

Well fortunately it slightly affected us, 'cause we were in the finalizing phase of our record “Not that Godly” in that period. So only a few shows were cancelled, but we took our benefit of it as well: instead of spoilering the material live, we could give the release a larger scale with multiple videos, step-by-step song drops, more room to settle the artworks and image etc. We kinda could deepen in our very inner essence! So it was rather an instructive period that will be useful in longer term as well. However I hope no such shit would happen again to any of us in the future.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Metal?

Actually I’m looking the things kinda from the outside, ‘cause the stuff going around in the last 10 years couldn’t catch me that much. So I rather pick stuff from the aspect of frame of mind than by musical genres. Which leads to really exciting experiences btw… However I still have my own, so to say “outsider” opinion on metal as well. I think the writing (or rather call it song editing) methods went way too much for the pop song creating schemes: simple, over-used patterns, best practice solutions, all mixed with other over-used genres, but I ain’t feel the spirit in it. These tracks can impress way quickly but lose much quicker, which is a good way to go single-by-single, but not enough to impress for years, which would ensure keeping this whole scene alive. In my reading, metal is an album-based genre with longer-explained concepts. It’s not about stuffing all in a single track.

From the business aspect: I think the industry is in a temporary stage where nothing is really sure or predictable. Besides the Covid situation, the above detailed issues will surely have effect on the live music/touring culture the way we cannot foresee yet. Now everyone’s waiting for the pre-covid times to come back, but we all need to face the fact that none will be the same again. We'd need to look forward, so will there be a rise or a fall? I guess it’s up to all of us!

7. What’s the current local music scene like there in Hungary?

Musically it’s not that different from the scenes around, usually following all the same trends with a few years latency. I think the audience should be more open-minded and the artists should serve the standards less and work more on their own sounds. I understand their points tho. The good side is it’s predictable and safe, the bad is that no one takes the trouble of building the hinterland but takes the certain medium. Of course there are a many outstanding productions and lots of talents but no use of it if the fans are spoiled this much. I guess we all would need some stimulus!

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

This industry has always been about balancing between compromises and greed. Unfortunately the artist is always the losing one. Back in the day, when labels ruled, they did the same thing with the over-priced physical formats from which the bands barely profited anything. Moreover the production couldn’t even get to the audience, because it was unaffordably expensive. This situation have turned around with the download era, which also had its demolition on the industry…

Now all the bands have use of the same platforms like the mainstream productions and these services take advantage of it, because now they came exclusive: you put up on this “theft” or won’t get heard of. It’s a kinda stalemate. Probably, as always, this tendency will be broken down by evolution, and another greedy-compromising situation will come up instead. Guess it’s the nature of things. Of course I’m not happy with it anyway, but could be more worried if I did this all for the living.

9. What’s next for Godgiven?

Promotion has the highest priority now, we need to re-build and strengthen our brand. Of course we're a tour-band, so can't wait to hit the road again, but now we're in the establishing phase. However we'll have a few inland shows this year just to keep our shape, but we'll go for quality over quantity this time. Plannedly, we'll resume tours around Europe (or further) from next year, so there are many things to sort out until then! In the meantime, we'll make sure to be heard, so stay tuned!

10. Any shoutouts?

Perfection and comfort are way boring. Dare to experience life on full scale and to question anything around! Listen and absorb MUSIC itself, form your own taste aside from any trends.