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Alfahanne - Alfapokalyps

by Salvador Aguinaga II at 08 February 2014, 7:51 PM

When you first pop in this baby you notice something is a bit off. The build of the intro is too upbeat and poppy to be a Metal band. But also you have a nice blend of Atmosphere Black Metal so it comes into question if what you’re listening to truly is legit Metal. If you’re wondering, it’s not Post-Black Metal. Instead, ALFAHANNE do a neat thing to combine the Second Wave of Black Metal (SWBM) with Indie Rock. To find the verdict of their questionable archetype is up for interpretation. What I do know is that I enjoyed these guys.

“Bättre Dar” is primarily what I described as upbeat, poppy, and being clouded with Atmosphere Black Metal. It isn’t until “Ormar Av Satan” where you start to see the influence of the SWBM. The drums are still upbeat but the DARKTHRONE tendencies are obvious and blend to create a passively destructive force. The drums stay consistent throughout “Alfapokalyps” and have the ideal Indie Rock style. It works so well even if the drummer isn’t noteworthy of being a master of the battery. Niklas Åström, however, is beneficial in rounding ALFAHANNE’s sound that it doesn’t matter. In a way, he’s fulfilling his role to collectively push their sound forward so you can feel the pounce and memorable effort.

Pehr Skjoldhammer, on the other hand, is a different story. ALFAHANNE are Swedish musicians so I have to guess Skjoldhammer is indeed singing in Swedish. The language barrier is not a problem. What is though is the roughness to his vocals. But if ALFAHANNE are indeed serious about the art of Black Metal and Indie Rock fusion then if you look at it that way the vocals do fit the bill. There’re no screams, growls, or any type of extreme vocalization. Just like I stated before Skjoldhammer is singing despite its hoarse quality. In some tracks he’s iffy but I truly enjoyed his endeavor on “Dödskult”. It wholly captures the overall sound. Ironically enough, this is the track where you can hear the right touch of Black Metal and Indie Rock melding together in perfect harmony. At times, Skjoldhammer’s dialect and pronunciation almost make him sound like he’s rapping (i.e. “Rocken Dör”). Most notably, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE’s Zack de la Rocha, naturally pops into my head.

I don’t know but for some reason I found myself most impressed with Jimmy Wiberg’s bass playing. I felt that out of all the musicians he quintessentially represented the balance of both styles. Of course, when it came to purely Black Metal you could hear its traditional-styled playing. In the same respect, when a song was more geared toward Indie Rock you could hear the Post-Punkish / Alternative Rock-type playing. In more embracive tracks, such as “Indiehora”, Indie Rock was more prominent and yet the bass incorporated the traditional style of Black Metal. Wiberg adapted to the situation well without the need of sacrificing flow of the songs when such occurrences presented themselves. Overall, all musicians were well-harmonized and created an album where teamwork flourishes.

Even with such stats, ALFAHANNE, did not reach new heights talent-wise. They, however, are exceptional musicians at what they do. And that’s writing an album with natural progression and buoyant semblance. “Alfapokalyps” reminded me of a group that I’ve long forgotten within the realm of Indie Rock so I’m thankful I had a chance to discover these guys. Sounds like THE KILLERS, DARKTHRONE, THE BRAVERY, and NACHTMYSTIUM meshed together.

3 Star Rating

1. Bättre Dar
2. Ormar Av Satan
3. Såld På Mörkret
4. Dödskult
5. Rocken Dör
6. Syndernas Flod
7. Levande Död
8. Indiehora
9. Der Drömmarna Dör
10.  Alla Ska Me
Pehr Skjoldhammer - Vocals, Guitar
Fredrik Sööberg - Guitar
Niklas Åström - Drums
Jimmy Wiberg – Bass
Record Label: Dark Essence Records


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