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Dark Funeral

Formed in 1993 right around the time that Scandinavian black metal was really catching on, Dark Funeral immediately established itself as one of the most important bands in the genre. While many black metal bands were moving towards an increasing use of chilly synthesized textures, Dark Funeral eschewed eerie dark ambient moodiness in favor of a full-force vile rock assault. The anti-Christian sentiments and preoccupation with Satan which so many associate with black metal are fully in evidence here in their music, however.

Led by the incomparably evil guitarist Lord Ahriman, Dark Funeral has endured a number of lineup shifts throughout the years, but remained committed to creating some of the darkest and most frightening sounds in the history of music. For many fans, Dark Funeral's first two releases, the Dark Funeral EP (1994) and The Secrets of the Black Arts (1996), are their most essential. But over the years, the band has only grown more adept at suffusing its heavy metal horror show with even more grisly blackness, as its newest release, 2001's In the Sign, will demonstrate. Featuring "Open the Gates," In the Sign is a heart attack-inducing exercise in sheer sonic terror.

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