Is when it all began when the mighty Lord Ahriman and Blackmoon (David Parland) founded the war machine we now know as DARK FUNERAL. They were later joined by Draugen and Themgoroth.
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The legendary, self-titled and self-financed, mini-cd is recorded at Dan Swanö´s Uni-Sound studio in January. It is released on May 4th to an unsuspecting world. And on that very same day, the band would have performed their very first gig at Luse Lottes Pub in Oslo NORWAY. After the recording sessions, Draugen (drums) leaves the band and is replaced by Equimanthorn.
The band signs to No Fashion Records, which later turns out to be their biggest misstake yet, and start preparing songs for a full-length album. After a miserable attempt to record The Secrets Of The Black Arts at Uni-Sound studios (again with Dan Swanö) the band decides to relocate to Abyss Studio and re-record the entire album. In between the studio sessions a new song was written and added to the tracklist "When Angels Forever Die". With engineer Peter Tagtgren (Hypocripsy) on board, the band finally gets the production they were looking for. Shortly after, DARK FUNERAL plays their first festival gig, Under The Black Sun I in Berlin. A few weeks prior to this gig Emperor Magus Caligula joins the band as vocalist and eventually becomes a permanent member. The band also shoots their very first video for the track "The Secrets Of The Black Arts" which is well received and played on music channels all over the world.
January 28th the bands first full-length-album "The Secrets Of The Black Arts" is released upon the masses and the album is soon licensed to Metal Blade (North America) and Mystic Production (Poland). The line-up troubles which first saw vocalist Themgoroth and drummer Equimanthorn leave is soon elevated when co-founding member Blackmoon also leaves. Fortunatly they are more than compensated with the addition of Alzazmon (drums), Typhos (guitars) and Emperor Magus Caligula (vocals/bass). With the addition of Caligula (who most of you already knew as Masse Broberg, the original vocalist of Hypocrisy) DARK FUNERAL is brought to a new level of aggressivity and intensivity. Together with Necromass the band does the Satanic War Tour I throughout Europe. Also during 1996, the line-up of Emperor Magus Caligula, Lord Ahriman, Alzazmon and Blackmoon recorded their unholy version of Bathory's "Call From The Grave" and "Equimanthorn" for the Bathory tribute, In Conspiracy With Satan. (These stunning cover tracks also appears later re-mastered for the re-titled re-release of the bands legendary debut "In The Sign…".).
The second leg of Satanic War Tour follows with Ancient and Bal Sagoth as support. Also, Dark Funeral plays their very first show in America at the Expo Of The Extreme festival in Chicago. After totally desecrating the unsuspecting American audience with their blasphemous stage show complete with impaled pigs heads on upside down crosses matched with the unholy members drenched in pigs blood and finishing the set off with Emperor Magus Caligula's firebreathing. From there the band embarks on the "The American Satanic Crusade Tour" with Usurper in support. Originally the tour was supposed to also feature Acheron and Destroyer 666, but after too many hassles, both bands had to cancel. In September, the road dogs return to the Abyss studio to record "Vobiscum Satanas". Ultra-raw and hyper-fast the unholy duo Ahriman/Caligula have delivered a record that even the last sceptics have to admit that DARK FUNERAL are spearheading Swedish black metal together with Marduk.
The Ineffable Kings Of Darkness Tour with Enthroned and Liar Of Golgotha takes place with Dominion coming into the band as a session bass player. The band also does their second major festival appearance at the Swedish Hultsfreds festival. After the festival, Thyphos is kicked out and Dominion, (who originally was a guitarist), is taken on as the bands second guitarist and Caligula reverts back to doing both vocals and bass. Before the band heads out on the "Bleed For Satan" tour, with Cannibal Corpse and Infernal Majesty, Alzazmon (drums) leaves and the bands long time friend Gaahnfaust is being added to the line-up. (He was also in DARK FUNERAL back in 1996 for a short time.)
DARK FUNERAL return overseas for another mini-tour "Black Plague Across The West" which finds the band invading, then destroying Mexico for the first time before they head north and lay to waste to the state of California. Afterwards they also embark on their longest and most successful European tour "The Satanic Inquisition" together with Dimmu Borgir.
With engineer Tommy Tägtgren DARK FUNERAL record the EP "Teach The Children To Worship Satan" at the Abyss studio B (featuring the new song "An Apprentice Of Satan" and cover-versions from Slayer, Mayhem, Sodom and King Diamond). For the EP, the band also film a live video for "An Apprentice Of Satan". DARK FUNERAL join Deicide, Immortal and Cannibal Corpse for the No Mercy festivals. After the departure of Gaahnfaust, Matte Modin (Defleshed) joins the band as a permanent member and makes his debut at the With Full Force festival. With Matte DARK FUNERAL becomes even faster and tighter. Wacken Open Air is added to the band's enormous gig-list; even a chaotic Canadian/American tour is coming to a good end. Dominion and Caligula work on their logically titled side-project Dominon Caligula while Lord Ahriman, with members of Acheron, Incantation and The Electric Hellfire Club, form Wolfen Society. Due to popular demand for the first EP, DARK FUNERAL re-releases the landmark work complete with new a new cover and never before published photos, giving the fans a true taste of the history of the band.
In January/February the band again enter Abyss Studio to record their third (and long awaited) full-length album. The new album "Diabolis Interium." With the help of producer Peter Tägtgren and studio technician Lars Szöke, DARK FUNERAL created the MASTERPIECE of their recording career thus far, a record which will surely be considered a mile-stone in the evolution of black metal in the future. Beside the usual highspeed-songs, DARK FUNERAL shows a new side, slowing down for “Goddess Of Sodomy.” “An Apprentice Of Satan”, already known from the last EP, was reworked for "Diabolis Interium." Other highlights of the CD are “Armageddon Finally Comes” and the brutal opener “The Arrival Of Satan’s Empire” (which most would agree is THE crown jewel of the Dark Funeral catalogue). "Diabolis Interium" is an absolute MUST for every serious metal-collection, not only black metal fanatics!
Due to the overwhelming positive response of "Diabolis Interium" from the public and the press, DARK FUNERAL were able to secure deals that brought their music across to a much wider audience with licenses in Japan (Soundholic Co.Ltd), Brazil (Hellion Records), Poland (Mystic Productions), Romania (Rocris Disc), Bulgaria (Rocris Disc), Thailand (S.Stack Co. Ltd), Russia (Irond Records Ltd), Taiwan, Hong Kong & China (Magnus Music). With the exceptional response to the album in Brazil which was released through Hellion Records, another local label, Somber Records licenses the band's entire back catalogue.
As soon as "Diabolis Interium" hit the streets, DARK FUNERAL once again hit the road. First they toured Europe, supported by Tidfall (NO), Anorexia Nervosa (FR) and Ragnarok (NO). On this tour the band brought in Mikael Hedlund (Hypocrisy) to play the bass. After this tour Mikael resumed duties with his main band. DARK FUNERAL recruited Richard Cabeza for the session bassist slot. The band also toured the US, supporting their long time friends Cannibal Corpse. With "Diabolis Interium", the Swedish radio station ROCKET 95.3 FM nominated DARK FUNERAL in the category “Best Swedish Hardrock Band”. Other bands nominated at the same time and in the same category were Breach, Entombed and Arise.
In October 2002 the band made their very first tour in the Far East. The tour included shows in Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. The band was the very first western extreme metal band to play Taiwan and Singapore. DARK FUNERAL received a warm welcome by the Asian crowd, who not only understood their brand of dark and majestic music, but also the essence of the band itself.
November 29th 2002, DARK FUNERALand MNW/No Fashion Records announced that effective IMMEDIATELY they were no longer contractually bound to Necropolis Records, who had licensed the bands 2001 masterpiece "Diabolis Interium" for North America. Official Termination of contract papers had already been delivered to Necropolis Records, putting an official end of DARK FUNERAL's tenure with said record label. This was a result of Necropolis' deliberate breach of contract with the band and label. DARK FUNERAL has since put this unfortunate incident behind them and begun moving on with the future.
After the Asian tour, guitarist Dominion felt that he could not give 100% to DARK FUNERAL and felt it was in everyone’s best interest to resign his position. He had felt his lack of motivation to dedicate himself to a full-time touring band was not fair to the band, and also wanted to explore other musical options. Dominion officially resigned upon their completion of the Asian tour. Dominion is and will always be regarded as a very good and close comrade and brother to the band.
After the Asian tour, the band begin auditioning guitarists to replace the departed Dominion. A new guitarist was found in the form of Chaq Mol, who has a long history in different local Metal acts. He is also in the two man Doom/Black Metal project Mordichrist. He made his official debut with the band at Wacken Open Air 2003.
After a successful gig at the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany the band headed down to South America for a tour through Brazil, Chile and Columbia. This tour became one of the most successful tours ever undertaken by the band. During the tour the band recorded a couple of the shows with plans to release it as a live album! After sifting through the recorded material with their live sound engineer (Erik Lidbom, Hitfire Productions), “De Profundis Clamavi Ad Te Domine" was born.
DARK FUNERAL began the year by officially announcing their split from MNW/No Fashion Records. Shortly after, the band signed a license deal with Regain Records for their amazing new live album “De Profundis Clamavi Ad Te Domine”. It was licensed to several other countries. On May 31st, 2005 it also finds it´s long awaited release in the US through Candlelight USA.
In January of 2004 the band partnered with Goatwhore (US) and Zyklon (NO) in Japan on the Extreme The Dojo Volume 9. Shortly after the band continue to tour with a spate of Mexican dates. A few festivals are also being executed, Spanish Piorno Rock (w/ Sepultura, Saxon, Destruction, Lacuna Coil among others), Finnish Tuska and X-Mass Festivals. The band appears as the headline act at Germanys Party San, Swedish Nordic Rage and LA´s Gathering Of The Bestial Legions Festival. The band also hit Italy together with Defleshed for a short, but extremely successful burst of dates. In December 2004 DARK FUNERAL then resumed touring by first playing Israel and then hitting Russia and Ukraine for the Black Winter Days Tour, together with Horned NecroCannibals and Icewind Blast.
On January 20th 2005, DARK FUNERAL signed a new record deal with Regain Records. The band concentrates on writing material for a new full-length album yet still manage to perform at the Metal Mind Festival in Poland before finally joining the No Mercy Tour with Six Feet Under, Nile, Dying Fetus among others.
On May 23rd the band finally entered Dug Out Studios together with producer Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, In Flames, Strapping Young Lad, Behemoth a.s.o.) and Örjan Örnkloo (Misery Loves CO) to begin work on their new, long awaited full-length album. This, which will be Dark Funeral's 4th full-length studio album is also their most eagerly anticipated recording in their now decade-long career. The band brings in Gustaf Hielm (ex Messhuggha) to play the bass on the record. On August 18th Dark Funeral's new Masterpiece "Attera Totus Sanctus" was completed! Raw, fierce, and evil, Attera Totus Sanctus will rightly reclaim the unholy band’s title at the top of black metal’s premiere elite.The release date is set for October 24th via Regain Records in Europe and November 29th via Candlelight in the USA. Further on the album will also be released in Japan on December 21th via Soundholic Ltd and in Brazil on ????? via Hellion Records.
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