Liverecension: Dark Funeral, The Showbox, Seattle, WA, 22-11-19

After a long pandemic hiatus for North American tours, the notorious Swedish Black Metal band Dark Funeral have returned for a full USA/Canada tour.

On this current tour, the band has teamed up with Cannibal Corpse, Immolation and Black Anvil. The highly anticipated tour has been selling out gigs in many cities all across North America.

I caught up with the tour in Seattle at the legendary Showbox (at the Market), one of the longtime live music venues in the most popular area of downtown Seattle. This stop was one of the many dates that sold out well before the tour date arrived. I arrived a little late for the show and to my surprise, the entry line was still wrapped around the block from the venue with some fans disappointed to miss Black Anvil and part of Immolation’s sets and other fans still desperately trying to find a ticket to the show.

As entered the venue, I passed the row of merchandise tables and made a mental note to stop back for a new hoodie and patch on the way out. I rounded the corner onto the main floor, it was a packed house. There was barely any room for the last of us to get onto the floor with the other 1100 fans at this all-ages show, but we did it! Immolation was on stage and fans were already excited, the night was set for a great live experience. What I got to see of Immolation, was fantastic. I would definitely recommend this band to other metal fans for live gigs.

In all honesty, for me, this night was all about another ritual with Dark Funeral. While the line-up was stacked with great bands… I was most interested in hearing music from the new album “We Are the Apocalypse”. I’ve been a die-hard fan of their music for a long time and try to catch them whenever I can. The theatrics and mood that come with one of their shows make it more than simply just a live gig, it’s a ritual.

Before their set, they had a quick soundcheck and I think some of the fans thought they had a drum tech on tour and didn’t realise that Jalomaah came out himself for the soundcheck of the drums and then went back to the dressing room before their show started. Those that did realise it were talking about how well and fast he plays, to which I absolutely agree.

As the lights went dark, one by one the members of Dark Funeral entered the stage to the loud cheering of the audience that became even louder as Lord Ahriman entered the stage. They started the show with “Unchain My Soul” and before the first song was complete, the first crowd-surfing fan had come across the stage barrier and that set the pace for their entire set. One by one, fans continued to surf over the crowd below them with their fists and metal horns high in the air. Fans at the barrier were holding tight to their positions and had their arms in the air singing and cheering as Dark Funeral progressed through their set.

Dark Funeral delivered my wish with three of their new songs, “Leviathan”, “When I’m Gone” and “Let the Devil In”. They sounded great on the album and even better live, especially with the energy from other Dark Funeral fans at the show that were as excited as I was to hear each of these new tracks during the show.

As the show continued on they reached the anticipated Swedish Easter classic track, “Nail Them to the Cross”, Heljarmadr held the cross high in the air and then brought the cross down to lick it, which brought loud cheers and has clearly become a fan favourite with their shows.

The band wrapped their set up with “Where Shadows Forever Reign”. During this last song, Heljarmadr brought a Dark Funeral flag on the stage and waved it back and forth across the front of the crowd. In the final moments of the show Lord Ahriman put his metal horn high in the air while fans in the crowd had their arms up high with fists and metal horns as they cheered on.

North American Apocalypse 2022 Seattle Setlist:
Unchain My Soul
Hail Murder
My Funeral
The Secrets of the Black Arts
Open the Gates
When I’m Gone
Nail Them to the Cross
Let the Devil In
Where Shadows Forever Reign

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