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Dark Funeral: Where Shadows Forever Reign

Swedish black metal veterans Dark Funeral had a major change within the band a few years ago, namely their longtime frontman Emperor Magus Caligula jumping ship to go sing for blackened thrashers Witchery, so the search was on for a replacement, who they found in Grá and Cursed 13 vocalist Heljarmadr. Where Shadows Forever Reign is his debut with the band, an album featuring 9 tracks of old school Scandinavian black metal, mostly crafted by founding member & guitarist Lord Ahriman in typical Dark Funeral style. In essence, no real surprises here, but, it's all quite well done, littered with raging tremolo picked guitar shards, pounding blast beats, and hellish vocals. If it sounds like a solid Dark Funeral release, that's certainly the case.

The spotlight is of course on Heljarmadr throughout, and he's more than up for the task. The vocalist spews his raspy growls on frantic fare such as "Unchain My Soul" and "Beast Above Man", supported by precision blasting from Dominator and melodic, cold, effective riffs courtesy of Ahriman and Chaq Mol. It's not all speed of light material here, though, as evident by the atmospheric "As I Ascend", a real textured track that proves to be not only a great vehicle for the vocalist but contains some intricate drum work and powerful chords. At times throughout Where Shadows Forever Reign you'll hear hints of Dissection and Immortal, which adds some intriguing flavors to the Dark Funeral sound, but it's always those patented tremolo riffs that reel you in, so alluring on the dramatic "Temple of Ahriman", the hauntingly melodic "The Eternal Eclipse", and the piledriving, unrelenting title track.

There's definitely more atmosphere, a tad more mood, and plenty of mid-paced material on Where Shadows Forever Reign, which, in my book, is a good thing, as many of the previous Dark Funeral albums, as good as they are, tend to be somewhat one dimensional. For Heljarmadr's debut, he does a fine job, his gravelly croak compelling, and surprisingly easy to decipher. As for the rest of the band, rock solid as always, as they continue to show how brutal black metal can also be majestic and melodic while losing none of its power. The next chapter in the saga that is Dark Funeral has now begun.

Track Listing
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

Added: June 5th 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2084
Language: english

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