Dark Funeral – We Are the Apocalypse

8/10

Although being one of the world’s leading Black Metal bands (and if I might guess, one of Sweden’s largest metal exports), it has been quite quiet regarding Dark Funeral over the last years. Not only does they, for most of the time, go far under the controversy radar, especially after the demise of “trouble maker” Blackmoon (R.I.P.) and some wild years early in the career, but it has actually been six long years since their last full length release “Where Shadows Forever Reign” and almost unimaginable thirteen years since the album before that.

Moving fast is, although contradictory considering it is the masters of the blast beat we’re talking about, obviously not Dark Funeral’s thing…

Anyway, now is finally the time for a new Dark Funeral album and I would lie if I didn’t say that I looked forward to that with delight mixed with horror. Dark Funeral have after all, in my opinion, a mixed bag of bones regarding the quality of their releases.

It starts off on a good note though! No silly “evil” intro and no boring short instrumental but straight off into patented Dark Funeral blasting in the great opener “Nightfall”. It soon stands quite clear that the recruitment of Grá-frontman, Heljarmadr, that joined forces with Dark Funeral in 2014 was a really good move, since he delivers the sinister lyrics with a quite unique voice, that manage to be not only grim but also very well-articulated, making every single word clearly audible.

As usual, most of the stuff on “We are the Apocalypse” are lightning fast but even with a major part of the songs backed by hyper fast blast beats, the presumable hostile music is surprisingly easily accessible. I guess that is a result of Heljarmadr’s (kind of) melodic vocals and the appealing guitar melodies performed by Chaq Mol and, of course, founder and only remaining original member, Lord Ahriman.

Regarding the soundscape “We are the Apocalypse” is as far from “necro” as it comes, having a clear and modern sound making everything audible, even if I would have loved the guitars to be a bit louder in the mix. If I’m allowed to nit-pick a bit, I also must mention that I find that the drums actually sounds a bit “cut of” in the fast parts but that is not a major problem.

Even with most of the album being fast paced, there are some slower parts present. Those create a welcome variation to the hailstorm of blasting drums and tremolo picking guitars, although I must admit that I find the slow grinding “When I’m Gone” to be the only slightly weak part of the album.

Except that small dip with the aforementioned song, everything else sounds great though! The rest of the songs are god, and manage not to blend into a grey mass, which sometimes is the case with extreme music like this. Maybe you could argue that the album lacks something really ear catching, but the oriental guitars on “Leviathan” does make that song stand out in a really good way, so even some hooks are present!

Overall, “We are the Apocalypse” is a great album and it’s really nice to hear that Dark Funeral, almost thirty years into their career, shows that they still are a Black Metal force to be reckoned with!

https://open.spotify.com/album/4Aw1YxGh3eaefguzl1Ivxs?si=uW2HfLZhSTiMkO9vaFhUqQ

Artist: Dark Funeral
Title: We are the Apocalypse
Rating: 8/10
Label: Century Media Records
Playing time: 43:44
Date of release: 2022-03-18
Place of origin: Sweden
Standout track: Nosferatu

Dark Funeral – We Are the Apocalypse

March 19, 2022

It starts off on a good note though! No silly “evil” intro and no boring short instrumental but straight off into patented Dark Funeral blasting in the great opener “Nightfall”.

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