Legendary Swedish black metallers Dark Funeral are fresh off a European trek alongside the mighty Cannibal Corpse, with a headlining stint atop the 2023 Decibel Magazine Tour on the horizon.
For Dark Funeral guitarist Lord Ahriman, band mastermind of 30 years, it's all in a well-earned day's work, particularly when you consider the career master of the blackened riff is fresh off a hernia surgery.
"I'm really, really, really fucking holding it back now," his Lordship admitted when asked whether the desire to go balls-to-the-wall on stage crops up whilst still in recovery mode.
"It kind of feels weird because I need to hold back because I don't want it to get bad. I want it to heal as quickly as possible so I can go back to normal as soon as possible. So it feels quite weird to go on stage and just have to hold back all the time because I like to just become one with the music and one with the crowd. Now I really have to like, okay, I just gotta get through this. But it still works out good, it just feels weird."
Pushing forward while tipping one eye to the past, Ahriman and Dark Funeral have cause to celebrate in 2023, with the grim masters of the frigid riff celebrating thirty brutal years.
For Lord Ahriman, Black Sabbath, Accept, and Judas Priest were of course early gateways into the genre, though the emergence of hardcore icons Napalm Death changed the game and would alter the course of his life permanently.
"You had Napalm Death's Scum coming out from fucking nowhere in '87. You couldn't find anything more extreme than that. That was the most extreme stuff you can find at that time. And I get totally into it right away. I was like, 'Man, this is just insane'," he admits.
"And it's exactly like people thought I was, like 'you're fucking insane, how can you listen to that?' I was the only one who was into that super extreme music at that time where I grew up. I grew up in a small city in Sweden. But then I felt like I just wanted to find more and more of those extremes or dark bands of music."
Decades later, having become one of the globe's most respected and revered practitioners of the unholy sound, Dark Funeral are showing no signs of slowing down, with Ahriman sharing that he has riffs aplenty following the release of 2022's We Are the Apocalypse, with designs on setting to work on new material after the bands' current run of touring.
"I have written some new stuff, but I haven't really got into the mood of writing new music. I went through some hard drives and I put together a couple of hard drives that I'm going to go through when I come back home.
"The one I went through already, I actually found lots of riffs that I totally forgot about that I had, which was really fucking good. I was like shit man! I told the other guys, 'man, I didn't know I had these riffs saved to use but they were fucking killer!' So I got to look at that when I have the time."
Catch Dark Funeral on tour with Cattle Decapitation, 200 Stab Wounds & Blackbraid starting later this week! Get your tickets here.
5/11 The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA
5/12 Nile Theater – Mesa, AZ
5/13 El Rey – Albuquerque, NM
5/15 Granada Theater – Dallas, TX
5/16 Empire Control Room – Austin, TX
5/17 The Warehouse – Houston, TX
5/19 The Orpheum – Tampa, FL
5/20 Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA
5/21 The Underground – Charlotte, NC
5/23 Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore, MD
5/24 Irving Plaza – New York, NY
5/26 Club Soda – Montreal, QC
5/27 Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON
5/28 Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, MI
5/30 The Metro – Chicago, IL
5/31 First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
6/2 The Summit – Denver, CO
6/3 The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
6/5 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
6/6 The Vogue Theater – Vancouver, BC
6/7 The Roseland Ballroom – Portland, OR
6/9 The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
6/10 Regent Theater – Los Angeles, CA