It is feeling quite frigid in The Saw’s Butcher Shop, today, Butcher Crew! A cold north wind has blown through, and with it comes Dark Funeral’s new release, We are the Apocalypse (Century Media). The new album dropped on Friday, March 18, 2022. I talked about Dark Funeral’s history on the New Single Review of “Let the Devil In,” a wicked song that warns of what is to come on the new record. The dark masters of the frozen underworld of Black Metal hold nothing back on this new album!
Let me just start off with the blackened vocals on this record! Heljarmadr has an incredible voice! His timing and structure really add to the sense of doom throughout the record. Many of the tracks have spoken word (and whispers), while others feature his horrifying blackened roar/scream. Whether mid-tempo or a wall of sound, all the songs are vehicles for Heljarmadr to ride along and deliver a beating in verbal terror. And every…single…word…is annunciated perfectly, so you know without a doubt of the doom you are experiencing.
My next point is the drumming of Jalamaah. It seems this guy was built especially for Black Metal and particularly for Dark Funeral! His blast-beats, alone, are a solid wall of a beating! Add to it his lightening quick rolls and symbol crashes, and his smooth (almost eloquent) double-bass. Brilliant!
And founding guitarist (Lord Ahriman), long-time rhythm guitarist (Chaq Mol), and monster bassist Adra Melek (Grave) crush the breath out of every single track on We Are the Apocalypse. The trio are a force! It’s really fascinating to listen to the technical brutality of their atmospheric, harmonious onslaught of sharp riffs over storming melodic rampages. Dark Funeral hold true to classic Black Metal, but have perfected it down to a (literal) science. The only evolution, here, is in production and sound quality (which The Saw loves!).
We Are the Apocalypse opens with a banger, Nightfall. “NIGHTFAAALLLLL!!!!” Blasting tempo with an incredible chorus. It’s one of my favorites on the record. Next comes “Let the Devil In,” and you already know that The Saw is a huge fan of this wicked tune. “I open up the throat to sacrifice the Lamb of God and let the warm head flow in blood. Fulfill my emptiness, and let the Devil here…”
Following these two awesome tracks are seven more bangers that serenade the listener in a dark horror narrative of varying degrees. “When Our Vengeance is Done,” “Nosferatu,” “Beyond the Grave,” and “A Beast to Praise,” are straight-forward beatings – driving tracks with interludes of harmony, melody, and fierce vocal force. Excellent!
“When I’m Gone” and “Laviathan” are different creatures. “Laviathan” begins slowly, eerily, and moves into a mid-tempo jam that bangs! Suddenly, a roar over blast-beats consumes you to the bone, and this swing sways back and forth throughout the song. “When I’m Gone” begins with whispers you’d here in the cemetery air. The structure is slow paced, with blackened vocals expressing the experience of death; here, and over there, in the “uniting darkness.” This is a very dramatic song, both vocally and instrumentally. One of The Saw’s favorites.
And finally, the title track, “We Are the Apocalypse” pulverizes us into a heap! This song has a wicked riff, as a bridge, that’s a bit different from any other on the record. The main tempo is blast-beats and atmospheric harmony. The chorus is a hook, and quite catchy! My only complaint concerning We Are the Apocalypse is really a thing with Black Metal as a whole – the songs just end! We don’t work our way there; no set-up for an ending; it’s like driving off a cliff! You’re jammin’, and then the song ends!
Rating: 10/10!! A Black Metal masterpiece! Perfectly executed!
Favorite Songs: Nightfall, Let the Devil In, When I’m Gone, Leviathan