After 15 years of blasphemy, Dark Funeral vocalist, the regally named Emperor Magus Caligula, has departed and the Swedish black metal band has officially announced Nachtgarm as his replacement, some 10 months later. The band received over a thousand applications for their vacant vocalist and drummer positions over the past few months and they've emerge from the pile of apps with a clear winner.

Guitarist Lord Ahriman's official statement on the matter read as follows: "It surely was not an easy task to find a worthy replacement for Emperor Magus Caligula, who has been doing an amazing job for Dark Funeral during the past 15 years. He has not only been 'the vocalist' for the band, but also a very good friend and he always will be!

"Anyway, 10 months of intense searching worldwide has finally given result and I'm very proud to announce and welcome Nachtgarm to the horde. I think I can speak for everyone in the band and say that besides completely knocking us down with the strength of his vocals and wide register, what truly blew us away was his presence, energy and the amazing spirit he showed during the final audition. He just came into the rehearsal room and took his rightful spot. And then just set the whole place on hellfire! It's really hard to explain 'that' certain feeling one is looking for, but once you get it, you just know that you've found the right man for the job. And that is something we all got 'deluxe.' No doubt about that!

"Mankind has no idea what is coming upon them. And I can't wait to bring this maniac on tour for the world to experience Dar Funeral in the most intense and hellish way ever!"

Nachtgarm was equally stoked about his new job. He said, "To me, Dark Funeral is the epitome of black metal. To be a member of this institution now, is not only a big honor for me, but is also complementing my work as a lead singer as well as my action at the front of the stage throughout the years. Consequently, I am very glad that Dark Funeral put their unholy faith in me and my abilities."

Nachtgarm isn't taking the gig lightly and understands that he some pretty big jack boots to fill, saying, "As the successor of Emperor Magus Caligula, I am quite aware of the high expectations being directed to my person. However, I can assure every one of you out there that with every breath I take I will live up to these expectations. Hands down. This is the arrival of Satan's Empire. Now let us set this world aflame!"

Watch 'An Apprentice of Satan' from Dark Funeral' by Dark Funeral

Dark Funeral guitarist Chaq Mol was skeptical about how to proceed when the Emperor bolted, thinking 'How the f--- will we be able to find a worthy replacement now?,' since he believed that the Emperor was the crème de le crème when it come to black metal throats. His opinion changed once Nachtgarm opened his trap.

Mol said, "After we had listened to a couple of hundred applicants, there were two guys that really stood out and sounded very promising. The question was: 'Would they nail it on a live audition too, and would their personalities be of the kind we were looking for?' Well, after 10 months, we finally found the right man for the job! And all my previous doubts and concerns are now a memory forgotten. Nachtgarm, welcome to the horde!"

The "Funeral" procession will extend to the 70,000 Tons of Metal bill, which takes place January 23rd, 2012. The headbanging on the high seas event takes place on the Royal Caribbean "Majesty Of The Seas," which sails from Miami, Florida to George Town, Cayman Islands. The vessel will return Friday, January 27th , 2012.

Other bands confirmed for the event include Amorphis, Coroner, Moonsorrow, My Dying Bride, Nightwish, Pestilence, Therion and many more.

More From Noisecreep