DARK FUNERAL Where Shadows Forever Reign

573939Ineffable kings of darkness Dark Funeral are back after seven years’ break with their 6th full length album entitled Where Shadows Forever Reign, and many things have changed in their camp. Most notably there have been some huge line up changes, the biggest one being Emperor Magus Caligula’s departure. That man was very recognizable on vocals, many fans claimed him as the ultimate band’s vocalist so the band was up to huge task in finding the suitable replacement. After short episode with German singer Nachtgarm, suitable person was found in Heljarmadr (also known as the singer for Swedish black metallers Grá) and the band was ready to go. That was not the only change but the iron will of Lord Ahriman was once again proven, he relied on his old comrades Chaq Mol and Dominator along with the new singer so the album was finally prepared after a creative break that Ahriman admitted to have had. The rush was never connected to Dark Funeral name anyway, they have never put album after album just for the sake of it but rather came out with the material they stand behind completely. New label Century Media was chosen for the task and first glimpse of Where Shadows Forever Reign was indeed promising. Dark blue Necrolord cover bare striking resemblance to The Secrets of the Black Arts, band’s debut that is rightfully hailed as black metal classic, and first two songs that were released just deepened that impression. Title track and Unchain My Soul are truly in old Dark Funeral fashion: blasting yet still filled with blood freezing melodies, on top of everything come Heljarmadr’s catchy vocal delivery reminding great deal of Caligula’s days… seriously some of the best tracks the band have ever done! With that in mind I was anxiously looking forward to Where Shadows Forever Reign and when it finally came here, I willingly threw myself into its depths but it turned out that everything is not that great here… Key word for this album is unbalance. As I have claimed, it truly carries some of the best stuff Dark Funeral has done –  it kicks off with three magnificent tracks (mentioned Unchain My Soul, As One We Shall Conquer and Beast Above Man) and just when I started to enjoy immensely the cold shower with slower As I ascend came. I have never been that much of a fan of Dark Funeral slow stuff but okay, Ahriman himself promised that the album will be versatile and that it will feature all sorts of tempos so this one can pass with its cool haunting riff. The next fact that has disappointed me is inclusion of Temple of Ahriman and Nail Them To The Cross, both familiar from last year’s limited 7’’. I think that these songs are below Dark Funeral standards and that they should have stayed on that release alone as they weight down the album. Luckily the album picks up with Eternal Eclipse, again blasting hymn filled with Swedish killer melodies but the pace is let down again with To Carve Another Wound which drags down a bit. Where Shadows Forever Reign is closed with title track that finishes the story on a brighter scale and leaves better impression in one’s mind, and here I must once again compliment the band for not filling the CD with useless tracks but rather opting for standard album length of 40 minutes. As I have claimed, they always put out the material they believe in but it is a pity that some songs are considerably weaker than others. If all tracks were as good like f.ex. Unchain My Soul we would have another classic on our hands, this way…

  • Century Media CD
  • Trifunovic Slobodan (7,5)
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