|Image Credit: Metal Chris Flickr|
Artist: Dark Funeral
Album: Where Shadows Forever Reign
Record Label: Century Media
Release Date: June 3rd 2016
In an age where Black Metal seems to have become increasingly about evolution and less about a grass-roots belief system or sonic aesthetic, one might very well hand someone unfamiliar with the genre a copy of the new Dark Funeral album, Where Shadows Forever Reign (their first in seven years), as an archetype of conventional BM in the modern age. It’s crisp, clean production exudes modernity, and while this is not always a negative in the BM prospectus these days, the album is not as sumptuously bleak as its predecessor, 2009’s Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus.
The best moments here are those which come racing out of the starting blocks with macabre presence. The band’s reliance on ‘LaVeyan’ Satanism is still the crux of their dynamic, and married with the cascading, evil melody in ‘Beast Above Man’ and the bone-clenching fury of ‘As One We Shall Conquer’ it’s apocalyptic nihilism sounds as refreshed as you like. But the likes of the title track and ‘Temple of Ahriman’ are devoid of the aforementioned character for the most part, and despite the spiritual bent to the lyrics on the balladry of ‘As I Ascend’ it lacks any real atmospheric peak.
While it suffers from its conservatism, the fact that Dark Funeral continue galloping along with darkness as their ultimate companion is to be appraised. If any listener is of the persuasion that blast beats and maudlin fun are still the four pillars of any great Black Metal record, then Where Shadows Forever Reign is likely to appease them wholesale.
Key Tracks: 'As One We Shall Conquer', 'Beast Above Man'
For Fans Of: Marduk, Watain