For decades long, the Swedish black metal band Dark Funeral has been among the elite bands of Europe who reached unprecedented success globally. Since the classic 1996 album “The Secrets of the Black Art”, Lord Ahriman (guitars) brought more diversity to their composition that gradually materialized in atmospheric tempos. The rivalry between them and Marduk has been viewed by the fans where they both provided the defining sound of the black metal genre. In Sweden, these two bands set new standards that made them sound different from one another. In spite of the ferocity and the excessive blast beasts, Dark Funeral combined melodies and dense production that gave it its prime elemental principle that became evident on its albums like “Vobiscum Satanas” and, “Angelus Exuro pro Eternus“
With six albums under their belt, the Swedish legends bounce back with a new lineup on the seventh album “We Are the Apokalypse”, offering nine powerful satanic hymns, led by Lord Ahriman (guitars), Heljarmadr (vocals), Chaq Mol (guitars), Adra-Melek (bass), and, Jalomaah (drums). From the opening track, it is clear that Dark Funeral focuses on the atmospheric penchant, the bloodthirsty aggression, and the sharp-witted leadership of Lord Ahriman resulting in an outstanding balance of aggression and melodies.
The potent force of the composition is harnessed to provide an ultimate cohesion in the most vehement nefarious standards. “Nightfall” begins with an opening salvo of the drums firing on all cylinders and the bass guitar cannon unleashing pummeling chords. A hefty chunk of guitar riffs rife with instant hooks, and blazing guitars are perfectly fitted to the grim macabre themes conveying a perfect quality from the Swedes. The rhythm guitars are quintessential and as inspiring as ever, guitarist Chaq Mol infuses infectious melodies that create a cold atmosphere. Razor sharp tremolos funnel dark blasphemous energy juxtaposing the fast lighting pace of the drums.
While aggression has always been an unexceptional virtue for Dark Funeral, vocalist Heljarmadr delivers some of his best performances on the following track “Let the Devil In”. Though the song structure is more dynamic, the lead guitars meld with the slow pacing of the drums, and the vocals meander so well with the scorching melodies. The song perfectly oscillates between slower tempos to straightforward blast beats, the guitars are remarkably catchy and furious as they provide a sinister mood encompassing sinister melodies and melancholy air of grieve.
With all guns blazing, the hellfire piercing tremolos are powerfully showcased on “When Our Vengeance Is Done”. The magical element of the tremolos is laid out as prose. “We Are the Apokalypse” is professionally crafted with intricate melodies and rhythm sections that convey the traditional black metal riffs in all various forms of infernal unholiness. Being one of the highlight songs of the album, “Nosferatu” emphasizes blast beats and wicked black metal growls that bring the quality of the band’s signature sound. “When I’m Gone” gives us a fine example of creating memorability, with the lead guitars shrewdly utilized, Dark Funeral truly seizes your soul. In the song’s melodic passages Heljarmadr‘s grim howls create epic moments, as they resound through the heavy chunks of the guitar chords before the drums weaving furious beats. Many tracks on the album summon back the old flair for creating memorable riffs although this isn’t necessarily a departure from the band’s stylistic sound. “We Are the Apokalypse” offers some shards from the past, the rhythm guitars are one of the effective elements of the songwriting.
Dark emotions perpetually flow and the drums serve as a dynamic counterbalance, while other songs like “Beyond the Grave” include abrasive black metal riffage and plenty of blast beats the wicked growls are viciously demonic mixed with sorrow and wrathful howls. Dark Funeral’s savage brutality has come up with an enthusiastic formula to uncover new criteria. The guitars reverberate powerfully sounding like a symphonic crescendo intensified by the effects of the rhythm. “A Beast to Praise” has a heavy perspective that allows the tempo to hit a climax and the guitars peak at a staggering speed and accentuates the intensity of the performance. Musically the seventh album is very dark, grim, and atmospheric throughout, the perfect set of the songs leaves no room for criticism and likewise, the production is quite polished and on par with the band’s previous output. “Leviathan” serves as a bewitching and engrossing piece full of blasting bombardment, masterfully packed into cold grim riffs.
The final and title track “We Are the Apokalypse” is one hellish exertion of a brutal onslaught, it is brought by potent double bass and blasting sections and the guitars unleash a powerful barrage of venomous riffs and icy lead guitars the fiery passion is brought by relentless blast beats. Dark Funeral opens the portal to the realm of the dead as they depict their satanic work of art in the way that it should be praised as it is. The thematic framework of the hooded menacing figure welcomes you to the vast landscapes of the netherworld. “We Are the Apokalypse” is undeniably one of the best albums in the band’s discography as it ultimately forges new methods of fusing catchy elements and rhetoric harmonies.
Release Date: March 18th, 2022
Label: Century Media Records
- Let the Devil In
- When Our Vengeance Is Done
- When I’m Gone
- Beyond the Grave
- A Beast to Praise
- We Are the Apokalypse