Post black metal is of course yesterday's news, but there's still room for surprises in a music world where we've seen and heard just about anything. Swedish Alfahanne offer a refreshing take on the genre, mainly because of the vocal performance. I think it's safe to say that I've never hear black metal with a normal vocal. I refrain from calling it a clean vocal, normal is somehow more appropriate. Only during the first track, Bättre Dar, there's a bit of a growl, but that's it.
An extra exotic element comes in the shape of the language used on 'Alfapokalyps'; the album is sung entirely in Swedish, again something which isn't an everyday
occurrence in the world of metal.
That said, what lies behind all of this is still a black metal ethos, i.e. that characteristic guitar sound which certainly isn't my favourite sound in this dark world of ours, and as much as I find it refreshing, the voice of Pehr Skjoldhammer does get tedious at length (i.e. three or four songs into the album).
'Alfapokalyps' has the strong element of initial surprise and for that the Swedish combo deserve respect, but the album doesn't stand its ground throughout - unless of course you happen to be someone who loves the sound of black metal. If you are, I recommend you give it a go.