​Review: Dark Funeral’s "Where Shadows Forever Reign"

Review: Dark Funeral’s "Where Shadows Forever Reign"

For the first time in two decades, except for a few songs that were different in tempo, the black metallers Dark Funeral have allowed themselves to experiment. If you previously could safely say "Dark Funeral is not for everyone", they were so steadfast in their style, the sixth full-length album "Where Shadows Forever Reign" seems to be an attempt to start from scratch.

While working on the record, the band had some line-up changes, however, it was constantly observed in the musicians’ career. But this time the alternation is more significant, as now Dark Funeral’s got a "new voice", which replaced the uncompromising vocalist Emperor Magus Caligula. Nevertheless, the new frontman Heljarmadr (Andreas Vingbäck) brought some needed fresh ideas. Moreover, he proved himself to be an excellent performer.

Dark Funeral have fruitfully worked on the lyrics and style of their performance: the texts still involve the listeners to the depths of pandemonium, here you have "infernal beasts" and "the great fires of the deepest tracts of hell" and the "endless gaping void", so, generally, all the beauty of His Majesty Satan’s dominions. And along with this the lyrics got more sense and the form of epic narratives with the relative vocals and even minor sound effects, that enhance the overall atmosphere and general positive impressions of listening to the record. Probably, there is nothing absolutely unique on this album, but for instance the track "As I Ascend" begins and ends with the grim bell blows and it sounds powerfully. Most of the new songs are no longer crush on the listener with the wall of noise and hum, beginning gradually with heavy riffs.

The musicians brought in more new ideas, while working on the songs and the tracklist. Perhaps, someone will be disappointed, hearing that "Where Shadows Forever Reign" is half diluted with midtempo tracks. However, the same powerful and deliberate "Atrum Regina", which appeared on the furious album "Attera Totus Sanctus" (2005) sounded amazing and was accepted by most fans with enthusiasm. Now there are more similar compositions: "Beast Above Man", "As I Ascend", "Temple Of Ahriman" also have such distinguished features. The other six tracks (the CD traditionally has nine songs) are all the same heavy, cold and dark black metal, for which the band is so appreciated, although sometimes criticized. But now it's mostly not a combination of four chords anymore, the music fully expresses the metallers’ eagerness and skills. The rest of the songs sound like true Dark Funeral, with its hurricane blast beat, speed and the old-school approach to the genre.

With "Where Shadows Forever Reign" the musicians rejected some excessive pathos, you may feel it in the lyrics. They even cast away the banal idea to name the album in Latin. Let alone the CD design. No doubts, this is the best cover since the debut LP "The Secrets Of The Black Arts" (1996). And sure, they may seem alike because they were created by the same artist Kristian Wåhlin, the Swedish musician and graphic designer.

Dark Funeral's "Where Shadows Forever Reign"

Country: Sweden
Genre: black metal
Release date: June 3 2016
Label: Century Media
Tracklist:

  1. Unchain My Soul
  2. As One We Shall Conquer
  3. Beast Above Man
  4. As I Ascend
  5. Temple Of Ahriman
  6. The Eternal Eclipse
  7. To Carve Another Wound
  8. Nail Them To The Cross
  9. Where Shadows Forever Reign

By Yuri Somov