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.
The legendary, self-titled and self-financed, mini-cd was recorded at Dan Swanö's Uni-Sound Studio in January. It was released on May 4th. And on that very same day, the band performed their very first gig at Luse Lottes Pub in Oslo, Norway. After the recording sessions, Draugen (drums) left the band and was replaced by Equimanthorn.
The band signed to No Fashion Records (which later turned out to be their biggest mistake yet), and started 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 decided 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 got the production they were looking for. Shortly after, Dark Funeral played their first festival gig, Under The Black Sun I in Berlin. A few weeks prior to this gig Emperor Magus Caligula joined the band as vocalist and eventually became a permanent member. The band also shot 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 got released upon the masses and the album soon got licensed to Metal Blade Records (North America) and Mystic Production (Poland). The line-up troubles which first saw vocalist Themgoroth and drummer Equimanthorn leave soon got elevated when co-founding member Blackmoon also left. Fortunately the band got 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 was brought to a new level of aggression and intensity. Together with Necromass the band did 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 appear later re-mastered for the re-titled re-release of the bands legendary debut In The Sign…).
The second leg of Satanic War Tour followed by Ancient and Bal-Sagoth as support. Also, Dark Funeral played 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 pig-heads on upside down crosses matched with the unholy members drenched in pig's blood and finishing the set off with Emperor Magus Caligula's firebreathing. From there the band embarked 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 band returned to The Abyss studio to record Vobiscum Satanas. Ultra-raw and hyper-fast the unholy duo Ahriman/Caligula delivered a record that even the last sceptics had to admit that Dark Funeral were spearheading Swedish black metal together with Marduk.
The Ineffable Kings Of Darkness Tour with Enthroned and Liar Of Golgotha took place with Dominion coming into the band as a session bass player. The band also did their second major festival appearance at the Swedish Hultsfreds festival. After the festival, Thyphos got kicked out and Dominion, (who originally was a guitarist), was taken on as the band's second guitarist and Caligula reverted back to doing both vocals and bass. Before the band headed out on the Bleed For Satan tour with Cannibal Corpse and Infernal Majesty, Alzazmon (drums) left and the band and long time friend Gaahnfaust was added to the line-up. (He was also in Dark Funeral back in 1996 for a short time).
Dark Funeral returned overseas for another mini-tour Black Plague Across The West which found the band invading, then destroying, Mexico for the first time before they headed north and laid to waste the state of California. Afterwards they also embarked on their longest and most successful European tour The Satanic Inquisition together with Dimmu Borgir.
With engineer Tommy Tägtgren Dark Funeral recorded 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 filmed a live video for "An Apprentice Of Satan". Dark Funeral joined Deicide, Immortal and Cannibal Corpse for the No Mercy festivals. After the departure of Gaahnfaust, Matte Modin (Defleshed) joined the band as a permanent member and made his debut at the With Full Force festival. With Matte Dark Funeral became even faster and tighter. Wacken Open Air was added to the band's enormous gig-list; even a chaotic Canadian/American tour was coming to a good end. Dominion and Caligula worked on their logically titled side-project Dominon Caligula while Lord Ahriman, with members of Acheron, Incantation and The Electric Hellfire Club, formed Wolfen Society. Due to popular demand for the first EP, Dark Funeral re-released the landmark work complete with a new cover and photos never published before, giving the fans a true taste of the history of the band.
In January/February the band again entered Abyss Studio to record their third (and long awaited) full-length 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 surely was to be considered a mile-stone in the evolution of black metal in the future. Beside the usual highspeed-songs, Dark Funeral showed 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 were "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 licensed 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 and Ragnarok. 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 Funeral and 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 Records 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 began auditioning guitarists to replace the departed Dominion. A new guitarist was found in the form of Chaq Mol, who had a long history in different local metal acts. He was 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 found it's long awaited release in the US through Candlelight Records, USA.
In January of 2004 the band partnered with Goatwhore and Zyklon in Japan on the Extreme The Dojo Volume 9. Shortly after, the band continued to tour with a spate of Mexican dates. A few festivals were also being executed, Spanish Piorno Rock (w/ Sepultura, Saxon, Destruction, Lacuna Coil among others), Finnish Tuska Open Air and X-Mass Festivals. The band appeared 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 concentrated on writing material for a new full-length album yet still managed 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) and Orjan Ornkloo (Misery Loves CO) to begin work on their new, long awaited full-length album. This, which was to be Dark Funeral's 4th full-length studio album was also their most eagerly anticipated recording in their now decade-long career. The band brought in Gustaf Hielm (ex-Messhuggah) 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 bands title at the top of black metals premiere elite.The release date was set for October 24th via Regain Records in Europe and November 29th via Candlelight Records in the USA. Further on the album was also set to be released in Japan on December 21th via Soundholic Ltd and in Brazil on (TBA) via Hellion Records.
It's not very often a Black Metal band hits the charts, but on November 2nd, 2005 Dark Funeral's new masterpiece Attera Totus Sanctus entered the Swedish album chart "Top 40" as #35 and the Swedish Heavy Metal chart as #3.
On February 21th Dark Funeral began a six week long headline tour throughout Europe Attera Orbis Terrarum Tour, to support their new and highly acclaimed studio album. The tour became a great success for the band. As support the band brought Naglfar, Amoral, Endstille and Asmodeus.
And the success continues. After touring the world in support of their latest and highly acclaimed Attera Totus Sanctus album , they finally released their first ever DVD (2-discs) Attera Orbis Terrarum - Part 1 on October 15th. The DVD landed impressively as #5 on the Swedish Music DVD chart. This is the first DVD in a series of two which the band has planned to release from their world touring for Attera Totus Sanctus.
Dark Funeral begin the year by announcing a release date for their second DVD set, Attera Orbis Terrarum - Part 2. The 2-disc DVD will be released on May 22 through Regain Records. This is the second in a series of two DVDs featuring outstanding, killer material that was recorded during the band's worldwide touring for Attera Totus Sanctus. While Part 1 focuses on European shows, part two focuses on South American shows, where the band has a fanatical following.
On 24 October 2008, it was announced that the Supreme Court of Sweden had ruled in favour of Dark Funeral in the dispute with MNW/No Fashion Records.
After several shows promoting the album, Dark Funeral launches the fifth studio album in 2009, Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus. They also shot a controversial music video for "My Funeral" which featured gore.
Emperor Magus Caligula leaves Dark Funeral. Caligula declared that the causes of his exit were personal and that his life took a new course.
Dominator leaves Dark Funeral to play drums for The Wretched End.
B-Force leaves Dark Funeral already communicated that was his own decision to leave the band.
Nils "Dominator" Fjellstrom returns to the kit. The band also finds Tomas "Zornheym" Nilsson to fill the vacant bass position. Dark Funeral also holds a massive vocalist audition and choose Steve "Nachtgarm" Marbs, from German black metal demons Negator, as their new vocalist.