Reviewed: March 1, 2022
Released: March 18, 2022, Century Media Records
Reviewer: The Elitist Metalhead
DARK FUNERAL are a well known name in black metal. They are one of the original bands that were the early Swedish black metal movement. They are surely the most well known and I think that has put a target on their back. Their approach has been to play riff heavy relentless black metal; I’m not sure where some of the criticism comes from. So 2022 brings us their newest album We Are The Apocalypse, and this may be the best album of their career. This album shows that they took their time and even slightly changed their approach to the songwriting creating nine black metal anthems that show this band is more than just blast beats and speed.
The first inclination that this was going to be a slightly different DARK FUNERAL was the first single released, “Let the Devil In.” Instead of being a super fast blaster they chose to actually slow it down a bit and create some melody and atmosphere to their sound. The riffs are relentless, as always, and the vocals are just plain evil. This is where I noticed that along with serious riffs and sick vocals, the drums are on fire on this album. The song starts with an almost tribal beat and has such a cool grove to it. The production on this album adds to how this album was crafted. This album was brilliantly produced. No this is not lo-fi black metal. You can hear everything up front and extremely clean also giving it an epic feel. This is present on the other single released, and the album opener, “Nightfall.” This song is more along the lines of what they have been doing recently and is the perfect album opener. Again, a well written black metal song that actually sets the mood for the album.
So after those two incredible songs we move deeper into the album. This is where the songs start to take on an epic feel, as if they are telling a story. “Nosferatu” is one of those songs. This is my absolute favorite on the album just in the atmosphere this song creates. This song is fast and huge but it does not just rely on blasting its way through, but sometimes a song calls for some blasts…and this songs delivers on that as well. The tremolo riffs add so much melody and there’s even a “chorus” in the song. Then we slow it down again for “When I’m Gone.” This starts out as a traditional metal song, with the opening riff being reminiscent to the opening to QUEENSRYCHE’s “Lady Wore Black.” Again, a slower song and much more melodic song but huge at the same time. If there was a such thing as a black metal ballad, this would be it because it is such a powerful song. But don’t worry, there is still enough speed to go around. “A Beast to Praise” is that song that just slays it’s way through you and, again, the drums are just ferocious.
I’ve been a fan of this band for a long time and I’ve enjoyed each album they have released but this album is on another level. Almost thirty years into their career and they are creating still creating quality black metal all the while still bringing something fresh to the table. They were able to create an album that has a huge epic feel; that even though these songs are not entwined in any way, the album still feels like a concept album when you finish listening. Outstanding!