Interview: Dark Funeral’s Lord Ahriman on Band’s Evolution with Latest LP

After shaping the global black metal scene as we know it today, and producing album after album of killer material, you may think a band like Dark Funeral would see fit to rest on their laurels, either retire or just release a bunch of killer, best-of material. But no. Instead, they want to keep pushing themselves musically. 

“I had an idea pretty clear in my head for this album where I wanted to bring the music to a new place and develop my own sound, work more with the rhythms, make it more dynamic and organic,” says guitarist Mikael Svanberg, better known in metal circles as Lord Ahriman. 

Dark Funeral’s latest release, We Are The Apocalypse, comes out March 18 via Century Media. Truly, while the band are known for creating sonic epics that don’t really dull or diminish with the fact that they are now very much black metal veterans and pioneers, the new record takes on a new feel and immerses you in a more cohesive universe.  

“When you put on this record, it’s not like you just take a musical journey,” Svanberg explains. “When you put on the album, you kind of get sucked in. It’s like opening a book or putting on a horror movie. You get drawn into this whole new world, and that’s something I’ve never experienced before.”  

And it’s obvious with a title like We Are The Apocalypse that current events colored things a bit for the band. Like much music right now, there’s an extra special layer to the darkness and despair. But having the extra time and isolation actually helped with getting the record ready to go.  

“It didn’t matter much that the world had closed down because that just meant I could focus more on writing, which was kind of cool,” Svanberg says. “Normally, I’m writing up until the very last minute when we enter the studio, but this time, we actually had time to practice and rehearse the songs as a band, as well as write them all, before the recording started, and that had never happened before.”  

With a new record under their wings, while things are uncertain globally, the plan for now is to book more U.S. supporting tours, COVID willing. But above all, they’re just glad to still be putting in the work after so many years.  

I’m just really fucking glad to be back with a new record, and one that I really feel is one in a million. I think people are really going to take notice, and I think we pushed the limit quite a lot. In the future, I’ll be bringing even more to the table, and hopefully, the world will open up again and we can get the music out there even more.”  

 Watch the video for “Let the Devil In” here:

For more from Dark Funeral, find them on Facebook and their official website.

Photo courtesy of Dark Funeral and Bartosz Szydlowski

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