ALBUM: Dark Funeral – Where Shadows Forever Reign
June 3rd, 2016
Coming around in 1993 and being one of the pioneering bands in second wave of black metal, Dark Funeral aren’t a new band by any stretch of the imagination. Their new album ‘Where Shadows Forever Reign’, however, doesn’t disappoint, and feels like it could end up being one of the best within the band’s long career.
One thing that stands out as being an important key factor of black metal, is the factor of controversy and this band has it in spades. From referencing to the infamous church burnings bands like Mayhem made famous in the 90s in ‘Best Above Man’, anti-Christian anthems such as ‘Nail Them To The Cross’, through to a detailed description of murdering women in tracks such as ‘To Carve Another Wound’, this is a group that honestly have no fears of hiding from controversy. Thankfully, however, as most black metal bands try to accomplish, this only highlights the horror inspired imagery a band like Dark Funeral truly deserve.
The instrumentals on this record, however, is where the band really get into their element. With the use of dual guitarists (Lord Ahriman and Chaq Mol) really adds to the twin harmonics of the band, giving a beautiful polish to what would otherwise be an overriding sense of darkness. This is most noticeable on ‘As I Ascend’, where the song goes into an overriding 6 minute epic. The track itself shows as one of the most creative parts of the album.
Blast beats on the album are also something that feels perfectly creative. Given the fact that his nickname is Dominator it really is to little surprise that the sticksman’s role within the album is to provide the heaviness. This works well on a track like ‘To Carve Another Wound’ when the subject matter is already perfectly heavy enough. It simply reaffirms that Dark Funeral are one of the best bands in the black metal scene, and why they’re a band whose place will remain forever.
Heljarmardr gives the best vocals from anyone in this scene. On ‘Unchain My Soul’, the raspy vocals gives an overriding sense of evil. The bits where he talks within the song in the record’s title-track makes the band seem like you have to listen to them intently for it to make sense.
The main pro of ‘Where Shadows Forever Reign’ is that it feels like a journey. It’s a depth into the soul of what makes the band as incredible as they are, and one which feels like a piece of work that is as creative as it is extreme.
Written by Bradley Cassidy (@bradcassidy170)