Dark Funeral

Alice Cooper would be wealthy beyond his wildest dreams if every corpse-painted, absurdly theatrical band that has walked the earth since 1969 paid him royalties. Even at his most shocking, though, Cooper couldn't hold a candle to guys like Varg Vikernes, who upped the lurid-extreme ante by murdering Euronymous, the singer of his old band, Mayhem. Ever since then, Scandinavian black-metal bands have exhausted themselves attempting to sound and look more and more evil. To that end, Sweden's Dark Funeral -- whose members sport names like Lord Ahriman and Emperor Magus Caligula -- does its Viking brethren proud. Rather than rely on sheer volume to create heaviness, however, Dark Funeral creates an illusion of intensity with a frenetic playing style and interlaid guitar lines that add a sense of alienation and dread to the proceedings -- not to mention the bandmembers' twisted clown-core makeup and sinister (albeit silly) song titles, such as "King Antichrist" and "666 Voices Inside."


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