What do you get when you combine bulletbelts and gaffer-taped nipples, a blend of black metal, punk and new wave as well as guest spots from Kvelertak’s Erlend Hjelvik and Shining’s Niklas Kvarforth?
Alfahanne, that’s who. Opting for a repetitious, chanty romp reminiscent of Rotting Christ, this sophomore record kickstarts with menace and the Swedes’ rebellious streak soon rears its head. Despite the attack, it’s easy to relax into this.
Maybe it’s the strung-out-drone of those guitars or the punch of every spat-out lyric (in Swedish), but there’s never a sense that Alfahanne are self-engrossed or trying to black metal the bejesus out of us, even if the terminal scream on Skallerormsgift reeks of Enslaved. Often the elements of new wave and BM combine to fulfil this refreshingly different aesthetic, in particular Blodad Tand, which lands a surprisingly melodic hook one minute in, or the visceral post-rock-isms on Vänd Inte Ryggen Till, making Alfahanne a genuinely interesting prospect.