|Born on: 07.08.1975
Kristian Eivind Espedal better known by his stage name Gaahl, is a black metal vocalist, and is the frontman of Norwegian band Gorgoroth.
Gaahl was born in the village of Espedal, Fjaler, Norway in 1975. He spent his youth living in a small village, which his family has owned for centuries. Gaahl, along with his family, still reside in the village, though they are fifteen minutes apart each other. He has a reputation as an enigmatic character, for example, he was schooled in the same place from the age of 4 to 18 and was one of two students in the school building, the other committing suicide after leaving.
Gaahl has been involved with black metal since 1992, and has been in bands such as Gaahlskagg (with Gorgoroth live guitarist Skagg), Trelldom, and Sigfader (with Skagg and Kvitrafn). Gaahl joined Gorgoroth in 1998, and was first heard on their Nuclear Blast album Destroyer; however, he only sang on the title track.
Gaahl was sentenced to one year in prison for assault in 2001, and was forced to pay the victim 158,000 NOK (26,963 US$). In 2006, Gaahl spent another 9 months (of a 14 month sentence) in prison for brutally assaulting a man and allegedly threatening to drink his blood in 2002. The victim received a total of 190,000 NOK (32,424 US$). Gaahl was released in December 2006.
He was briefly interviewed for the 2005 documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. He gives commentary on the events in Norway in the early 90s as well as some of his views on Satanism and Christianity.
In April 2007 Gaahl appeared in a five-part series entitled True Norwegian Black Metal. The series was produced by famous photographer Peter Beste. The series debuted on vbs.tv, the broadcast network of Vice Magazine. Gaahl offered Beste an interview and tour of his estate.
In October 2007, Gaahl and Infernus, the only original member of Gorgoroth, had an undisclosed argument over the future of the band. Using a MySpace bulletin, they announced their dissolution. On October 22, Gaahl and King claimed on their official website that Infernus had departed from the band, with Gaahl and King to continue touring and releasing material under the name 'Gorgoroth', but as a founding member and the chief ideologist of Gorgoroth prior to this dissolution, Infernus announced he would be filing suit against his former contemporaries for use of the name. Shortly afterwards, Infernus launched a new official website for his party.
On December 13, 2007, Regain Records issued an official statement declaring Infernus as the legitimate owner of the name, and threatened suit against third parties using the name.
On December 19, 2007 however, it was announced that authorities in the Norwegian Patent Office determined legally that Gaahl and King ov Hell "retain the rightful ownership and use of the name and logo, now and in the future."
Gaahl is popularly known as a Satanist, although he in fact regards Satan as culturally and spiritually irrelevant, and only uses Satanism to promote his staunch anti-Christianity on the basis that 'we live in a Christian world and we have to speak their language', also using it for its confrontational value to counter Christian imposition. In actuality, he is a practitioner of old Norse Shamanism, and is opposed to imposition of one's own religious beliefs on others. He can often be seen wearing a Mjolnir pendant. Ostensibly, Gaahl's spiritual beliefs further cemented Gorgoroth's lyrical suppression. He is also a vegetarian and is "very fussy about food" according to his mother.