Whenever someone asks me to label, categorise, or describe just what exactly the unique (and uniquely talented) Swedish act known as Alfahanne is and what the intriguing entity sounds like, I struggle to find the right words or come up with an apt phrase that somehow encapsulates its strong pull and darkly appealing aura. That is obviously a huge compliment to the band in that the constellation of these five individuals has crafted and shaped a musical identity of its own and possesses that certain indefinable quality that sets the group apart from everyone else out there. A gathering of deeply creative and like-minded musicians sharing a singular vision, if you will.
Their upcoming full-length assault is nothing short of a brilliantly conceived and superbly executed collection of razor-sharp songs that perfectly balance groove and catchiness with grit and bone-chilling darkness. Somewhere between raw and hook-laden black metal harking back to the eighties, ugly and vicious punk rock, and perhaps even something akin to unnerving crust punk with a melodic touch to it is where these gentlemen seem to lurk and thrive. While their previous albums and outputs were strong and enjoyable affairs, neither Alfapokalyps (2015) nor Blod Eld Alfa (2015) even come close to matching the 2024 opus in terms of cohesiveness, flow, and sheer dynamics. Vår Tid Är Nu delivers punch, unfiltered fury, and a strangely haunting aura of melancholy in equal measure – all of which resonates with yours truly on a profound level, which undoubtedly also ties in with the penetrating lyrics and the way in which they possess the power to make you gaze inwards. Black metal luminaries such as Nattefrost (Carpathian Forest), Nattfursth (Sorhin), Doedsadmiral (Nordjevel), and Spellgoth (Horna) all make guest appearances on the disc and infuse the material with a deep-seated and attractive longing for the end of times and the impending fall of mankind.
This highly effective and compelling slab of hellish and harsh rock may well turn out to be one of the best and most memorable releases of 2024. There is not an ounce of fat nor are there any superfluous elements or ideas to be found on the record. Lean, concise, and completely addictive stuff.
Vår Tid Är Nu will be released by Dark Essence Records on February 9, 2024.