Nail them to the cross
Swedish black metal band Dark Funeral has been going strong for over 20 years and after a long break, they are now back in full flow with a new lineup and new 6th album “Where Shadows Reign Forever”. It’s fast demonic black metal with sharp riffs and blast beats which show a typical Dark Funeral style, as new singer Andreas aka Heljarmadr briefly explained to us before their show at Incineration Festival in London.
HMA: Hi Andreas! What amazing artwork for your new album cover, did you work with the artist Necrolord and help him any direction?
Andreas: Yeah, we decided kind of early on that we wanted him to do it. He did the cover for the “The Secrets of the Black Arts” album twenty years ago. Felt kind of natural to do something old, but still something new. Yeah, I and Ahriman were checking with him, sending him some demos, lyrics and talking about where we want to go with the cover.
HMA: What can we expect to hear from this new material?
Andreas: It’s definitely Dark Funeral. You will know that instantly. It’s kind of old and new, like with the cover, it’s Dark Funeral. It’s a Dark Funeral cover, a Dark Funeral album. The difference being me writing the lyrics and doing the vocals of course, which is the big change.
HMA: I noticed the titles of your previous albums have been in Latin, is there a particular reason for that?
Andreas: I think that was Caligula’s choice. His passion to have it in Latin and I wanted it to be in English, because I like English.
HMA: Understandable. Since you’re also the songwriter, which approach has been taken for the new material?
Andreas: Well… you have a framework that is Dark Funeral, of course. You have this history of twenty years, more than twenty years of history. I’ve been looking at it, and then I had to make my own interpretations of it. I think that my lyrics are a bit more spiritual rather than aggressive, compared to the last, previous albums. Which, I think the lyrics are more direct and in your face. I like to leave a little bit of room, you have the aggression there too, but I write in layers. The top layer being the obvious, in your face, then you have the other layer which is what I mean, you can interpret it in different ways, basically.
HMA: Are you going to release any video? I think Lord Ahriman gave a hint somewhere.
HMA: So can you say anything more about it?
Andreas: You will find out when the time is right.
HMA: Ah very secret! How long have you been singing in black metal? Which band were you in previously?
Andreas: Yeah, I come from the Grá, which was my latest thing before I joined Dark Funeral but I’ve been active in different bands for about twenty years. Not big bands, but underground level.
HMA: What do you think about black metal, compared now to ten years ago, twenty years ago? You think it is still strong or is it stronger now?
Andreas: I don’t really know and I’m not really that interested in what people do today. I’m kind of stuck twenty years ago still. That’s what I listen to, the old albums and the old bands making new albums maybe, but I’m not really interested in the scene or stuff like that. I walk my own path.
HMA: I notice you’re going to play at some festivals this summer.
Andreas: Yeah, it’s great.
HMA: Do you have any favourite one?
Andreas: We’ve been really looking forward to this one, of course. There are a lot of big bands playing the same festivals with us like Black Sabbath and stuff like that, so if we have a chance to see that, that would be awesome, of course.
HMA: Yeah, some of the European summer festivals. You’re going to play in Hellfest, right?
Andreas: Yeah, Hellfest, Metaldays, Grasspop, a lot of them. I haven’t played there personally before because I’m kind of new to the band, so I don’t know what to expect. I can check the billings and see what bands are on our day. What I might be able to catch myself, that’s what to look forward to, as a lot of good bands to see there.
HMA: What are your beliefs? Do you consider yourself a Satanist?
Andreas: Yes, I do consider myself a Satanist, but I don’t like the word religion. It’s a spiritual thing I think and as soon as it’s a religion it’s slavery because you must have a leader because if you have a religion you immediately attach it to other people. People are like sheep, they need the herd, someone to lead them, point where to do, I don’t like that. I’m a very spiritual man, I am, but I’m opposed to religion. Yeah, I think Satanist is a kind of good word to express that.
HMA: Do you listen to metal or any other also bands that are not metal?
Andreas: My own favourite bands? Let’s see, well I listen to a lot of music, but when it comes to extreme metal, it’s the old bands like Darkthrone, you know the basic stuff, then I have a huge passion for The Doors actually, some singer-songwriters, country music like Johnny Cash and stuff like that too. Very dark topics in the lyrics of them.
Interview by Vixena Manu – Copyright 2016 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.