Released: 2015, Dark Essence Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
At first listen, ALFAHANNE may side like a band placed towards the “rock” spectrum of what we cover on Metal-Rules, but with the raspy vocals of Pehr Skjoldhammer it very quickly becomes apparent there are much darker faces to this Swedish four-piece. They are on a black metal record label, Niklas from Shining loves them, and their style encompasses everything from broody extreme metal to new wave nuances. It is with this sophomore LP that they continue their five-year long career, still singing in their native Swedish, and still looking like a motley crew of misfits got lost in a Scandinavian forest.
Blod Eld Alfa encompasses a multitude of genres, rolling in the post-punk bop energy with black metal’s arrogance and sinister swagger. Their attitude is adolescent, wild and free as they constantly verge towards and then against extreme metal. ALFAHANNE have a punk spirit, and a very Scandanavian voice. “Besatt” is melodic and charismatic, driven by tribal vocal shouts and walls of rocking guitar noise, making this LP feel like a dangerous and exciting experience in 2015.
Perhaps they’ve been helped a little by the range of guest appearances, encompassing a range of Scandanavian talent including sound-a-like Kvelertak frontman Erlend Hjelvik, Horna’s Spellgoth, and most famous fan Niklas Kvarforth. Although I feel ALFAHANNE could have pulled off this to their own merit, the guest appearances help diversify this record, without standing in a way that seems gimmicky in the slightest. “Blodad Tand” is fuelled by fiery chants, eerie minor chords and primal drumming, whilst “Hora Tills” carries a metronome like beat and swagger journey combining the melodic aspects of post-black metal with the hedonistic feel of hard rock.
This is a jumpy, dark and explorative album; full of late night tunes and gruelling energy. In a more than busy Swedish scene, Alfahanne have done themselves proud, managing to sound relevant as a modern rock band, yet authentic and raucously respectful to the past. There’s plenty to sit back and revel in, and there’s even more rock n roll energy to get up and jump around to, so as a metal fan with an appreciation for wide stylistic enactment, this album is worth getting into.
Review by Jarod Lawley