Neige, the sole contributor of Alcest, has stayed remarkably busy throughout 2010. Between his other projects (Lantlos, Ameseours) and the first actual set of stateside touring for Alcest. The man has been a consistent fixture in France's black metal scene throughout this decade. Much like the projects named above Alcest shares little with his More Blackened projects of past (Forgotten Woods, Peste Noire, Etc.).
Neige has cornered the market on darkened, shoegazing, post rock related black metal. Don't get confused as much as Alcest lacks much of the traits normally afforded to black metal in general there is always darkness edging its way into the sound and mood of each song. For a little background this was started mostly as a folk-ish fantasy music based outlet for Neige and has become something much bigger. This is quickly noted by the listener upon their first experience with the records. Gone are much of the fantasy related touches of the first album and past missives of the project. Instead we are given a stronger focus on effects laden guitars and overall structure.
Each song carefully blends into the song before leading one to gain a full immersive experience with the records. That is not to say each one starts where the last ends. This is more a mood related statement as the album holds onto one somber mood throughout. Note, that this record is far from boring or just overdirven mush like many inexperienced musicians would offer as a statement of growth. Rather, we have black metal standards (screaming, blast beats, etc.) being used to color the proceedings. The atmospheric guitars are never too far behind. This keeps things from falling into a rut musically and certainly helps to build a stronger sense of purpose.
More than anything production has become part of the great black metal debate. If the record is recorded in a low enough fidelity apparently it isn't "true" enough. Regardless of which side of the fence one may reside on Neige has made this record clear and faithful to a complete sound rather than the sound of a genre. The clarity only helps to make the songs pop into the listeners mind and take up space there. Much like most shoegaze records the guitars tend to take center stage in the recording. Fortunately this is done without forgetting any of the other instruments in the mix as everything gets its proper shine.
This is a record for anyone into alternative styles of music. It's hard to say what this fits into exactly as it encompasses so many different genres quite well without sticking perfectly to any one of them. What I can say with perfefct certainty is that Neige has created an album that has warmth, peace and comfort to it, and does this without forgetting his roots. Everything he has done musically throughout the years feels as though it has been given it's own place within this album.
9.6 / 10
Spirituality is one of the more personal topics that an artist can speak about within their music and it’s something that is coloured by experiences and by life as it ...
Kodama (loosely translating to “tree spirit” in Japanese) is a record that follows Alcest’s path of spirituality in music, and while Shelter (2014) was a lovely, warm, summery album, in ...
Posted Aug. 18, 2013, 11:27 a.m.
Due on Sept. 17, Anathema have released news on their upcoming Universal release. The blu-ray and cd/dvd package will cover a live set from Roman theatre of Philippopoli from ...
Posted July 10, 2013, 8:40 p.m.
Anathema and Alcest have announced a fall North American tour where the two bands will co-headline and Mamiffer will open. Check out the dates below.
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