Per Gyllenbäck, the label manager of Sweden's Regain Records, has released the following statement in response to the announcement that Swedish authorities have "sided" with GORGOROTH "copyright holders" Tom Cato Visnes (a.k.a. King Ov Hell; bass) and Kristian Eivind Espedal (a.k.a. Gaahl; vocals) to successfully stop Regain's distribution of the "unauthorized" GORGOROTH live album, "Live in Greighallen":
"Eventhough we think the whole matter is exaggerated and rather blown out of proportion, we feel the need to comment the situation.
"Due to legal proceedings regarding the GORGOROTH release 'True Norwegian Black Metal – Live in Grieghallen', there has been a decision made to stop all sales and marketing of this album for the duration of these legal proceedings. It is only an interemistic decision made by the court to stop all actions in regards of the album until the case is settled and there's no verdict made on the matter yet.
"The matter concerns solely Tom Cato Visnes and Kristian Espedal's discontent of the outcome of the album 'True Norwegian Black Metal – Live in Grieghallen' and the parties (Regain Records v/s Tom Cato Visnes and Kristian Espedal) do not share the same opinion therefore we have entered into a legal dispute.
"Regain Records has followed every paragraph according to the agreement between the parties involved. We will use all our efforts to protect our rights and in time a court verdict will clear up the situation."
The Gaahl-fronted version of GORGOROTH claims that Regain "broke the contracts" made with Gaahl and King by "illegally removed King's bass tracks and mix[ing] the recordings without the knowledge of Gaahl and King."
"Live in Grieghallen" was released in June via Regain. According to a press release, the CD was recorded live at Grieghallen in Bergen, Norway by Eirik "Pytten" Hundvin and features Infernus on bass and guitar, Gaahl on vocals, and Garghuf on drums.
"Live in Grieghallen" was mixed and mastered by Nico Elgstrand (ENTOMBED) and features all the GORGOROTH "essential songs" from the band's back catalog performed live.
"Live in Grieghallen" track listing:
01. Bergtrollets Hevn
03. The Rite of Infernal Invocation
04. Forces of Satan Storms
05. Possessed (by Satan)
06. Unchain My Heart!!!
07. Profetens Åpenbaring
08. Revelation of Doom
Infernus - Guitar, Bass
Gaahl - Vocals
Teloch - Session Guitar
Garghuf - Session Drums
All music and lyrics by Infernus, except track 1 (lyrics by Hat), track 2 (music by Tormentor) and track 4 (music by King). Recorded live in studio in 2007/2008. Engineered by Pytten at Grieghallen Studios in Bergen and Nico Elgstrand at Threeman Recordings in Stockholm. All bass re-recorded by Infernus at Threeman Recordings. Mixed by Nico Elgstrand. Mastered at Cutting Room in Stockholm by Infernus and Mats Lindfors. Cover design by Magnus Wolfhart.
On October 21, 2007, GORGOROTH guitarist Infernus posted a message on the band's MySpace page that said, "I am writing to inform you about the fact that there has been taken a decision to split up the band, Infernus on one side, Gaahl and King on the other. We cannot continue working together any longer. What is still not agreed upon is who rightfully gets to keep the band's name. Since this will be a question of legal affairs, I am afraid this might take time to get sorted out. I am sorry for that."
On December 13, Regain announced it would back Infernus, saying it "recognizes Infernus as the rightful owner of the band's name, logo, and trademark, and is prepared to take any legal steps necessary to prevent any third party from exploiting it, artistically and commercially."
"It is a matter of principles for us. Infernus started the band and has been the spine of GORGOROTH since 1992," Per Gyllenbäck, Regain's label manager, told Revolver magazine. "Also, looking on the contractual side of things, we have an agreement signed with GORGOROTH and it is signed solely by Infernus. The other part of GORGOROTH has given Infernus a written 'power of attorney' to negotiate and close deals on their behalf."
Unbeknownst to Infernus or Regain, King had filed paperwork to trademark the name and logo for GORGOROTH in September 2007. On December 19, Gorgoroth.org (now under the control of King and Gaahl) reported that Patentstyret, Norway's patent office, had awarded ownership of the band's name and logo to King and Gaahl.
"The battle is over," Gaahl told Revolver.
"Neither I nor Gaahl is thinking about it at all at this point," King added. "It's over. It's all over. The only thing he has left is to use the name to create some kind of confusion, but for the record label, everything is gone. We own the trademark. They can't use it. Infernus can't use it." Infernus has vowed to challenge the legality of King's trademark. "I have lawyers and label support for [challenging the patent office]," Infernus told Revolver. "Time will tell who is right and who is wrong. That's a promise."