Alfahanne - Det Nya Svarta album review
Blackened goth-glam-goons excel their malevolent selves
It might be a bit silly to pretend that black metal has no glam rock or goth-pop in its DNA, but the way Alfahanne have established a sound that encompasses all three makes them a continually exciting proposition. Somewhere between the black’n’roll onslaught that drives a good half of these songs and the unapologetic nods to Bauhaus and The Cure that dominate the rest, Det Nya Svarta pulls off the remarkable of trick of sounding both entirely original and like an enticing sonic smorgasbord of revered underground rock and metal tropes. Opener Satans Verser nails the formula in four motoring minutes, with an insistent refrain of ‘666!’ that never threatens to undermine the sincerity behind Alfahanne’s dark façade, and a palpable sense of nailbiting tension keeping all atmospheric edges rough and jagged. In contrast, Avgrundsgravitation is gothic post-punk to the core, replete with Spaghetti Western guitars and a Monster Mash beat. Like everything else here, it wouldn’t work if the men behind it were bullshitting. But no, Det Nya Svarta is the real deal.