I am notoriously fussy when it comes to metal. I can’t quite describe it but the vocal screaming/growls need to be the right pitch, tone and speed and also compliment the instrumentals and vice versa. Now imagine this but amplify it for Black Metal. I have very much a love/hate relationship with Black Metal but when the vocals hit that golden area of perfection and the instrumental performance is on par, you not only peak my curiosity but you also grab my attention. Dark Funeral are one of such Black Metal bands.
Despite some pretty big lineup changes throughout their almost 30 year career, Dark Funeral have still maintained the initial essence of their atmospherically cold and dark sound; particularly impressive considering their entire rhythm section has been overhauled in recent times. Guitarist and sole founding member Lord Ahriman has remained at the helm since 1993 with six-stringed partner in crime Chaq Mol following suit since 2003. We Are The Apocalypse is Heljarmandr‘s second stint behind the mic with bassist Adra Melek and drummer Jalomaah making their album debut having joined the band in 2018.
We Are The Apocalypse has been built on a foundation of chilling atmosphere, heavy riffage, brutal drumming and just a seasoning of melo-death to make some of the tracks really stand out. The record doesn’t start with an instrumental or even a build-up; it goes straight for the jugular with ‘Nightfall.’ Opening with an earth-shattering roar, rapid fire riffage, thunderous drumming and quite possibly one of the band’s most infectious hooks they’ve written so far. This track takes absolutely no prisoners. ‘Let The Devil In‘ opens up with rhythmical, thunderous drumming and offers a much more groove-centred pace to their blackened sound offset by poetically sinister lyrics.
A highlight of the album is ‘When I’m Gone;’ a dramatically emotive offering with a thunderous mid-tempo pace dripping with mournful anguish. This quickly shifts gear and the pace is taken up a notch or twelve with ‘Beyond the Grave’ and ‘A Beast to Praise‘ as it blasts the listener with an onslaught of pulverising blast beats and furiously rapid riffage. The title track closes the record in the same vein that it opened; with an earth-shattering roar and a barrage of dark brutality ensuring the listener has plenty to headbang about.
Dark Funeral have proven that they are not afraid to shift between styles midway through their records with seamless ease. They are masters of their craft and display a level of consistency that doesn’t stagnate which few can match. We Are The Apocalypse is a deadly injection in all its Satanic splendour and is one of their strongest records to date. I completely vibed with this record and give it 8/10.
Released By: Century Media Records
Release Date: 18th March 2022
For Fans Of: Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Emperor, Behemoth
Favourite Track(s): Let The Devil In, When I’m Gone