To listen to Souvenirs Dun Autre Monde (which translates into Memories Of Another World) is to experience a world free of pain, darkness, and despair, and to enter a world of beauty and harmony. The scenario that such an album paints is one where pure joy and happiness triumph through the overbearing cascading light, where innocence prevails, and where the longing for nostalgia reigns supreme. The best way to describe Souvenirs Dun Autre Monde is simply overwhelming.
The preceding quote was taken from the press package included with the promo copy of this album. Now, its standard practice to embellish a bands strengths in this manner. The label releasing the album or the band themselves will usually write these notes in the hopes that the description will make such an impression on the reviewer it is sent to, he will forego all other promo albums sitting atop his desk and immediately place THIS album in his music listening device and immediately write lauds after praise after exaltations about the glorious music now entering his orifice.
What I dont think the intent of these press notes is for, is making the prospective reviewer to roll their eyes while muttering Sweet Jesus under their breath, but fair is fair. If theyre going to take the time to send the promo out, Im going to at least do them the courtesy of reviewing the album with as little bias as possible. So without further ado
Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde is not a very good album. Not at all. It is what could almost be considered merde, in the parlance. Alcest has created an album in the genre of folk-metal - a term I loathe to use, as its a complete dichotomy in its verbiage, but nonetheless also completely apt in its description. I have no idea where the term was first coined, but Im willing to bet it had something to do with Jethro Tull winning the Grammy for best metal album back in the early 90s.
When it comes to music, I consider myself to be an open minded-bordering-on-enlightened individual. There is not a whole lot of music that is completely pointless. I sense that Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde has a point - Im just struggling to find out what it is aside from inducing fleeting thoughts of unicorns inside the listeners head.
When you listen to tracks like Sur Lautre Rive Je Tattendrai, you are given a hint - a shimmering hope, a faint glimpse that all is not lost - a heavy-ish guitar and a drone that sounds promising, but then sole-member Stéphane Paut, aka Neige starts singing like Jon Anderson with a reverb pedal, it all goes to france-in-a-handcart. Theres a distinct hippie-ish taint that covers this album like a patchouli béarnaise, leaving quite a bitter aftertaste.
Neige and his then-band Peste Noire was quite well regarded a few years back for helping to kick-start the French black metal movement that we see perfected in the likes of Deathspell Omega but theres just none less black to be found on this album. The fact that hes just joined up with Norwegian black metal band Forgotten Woods as their new vocalist is all the more confusing. Nothing wrong with a well-rounded singer I suppose, but if he turns this good but hardly great band into a mandolin-lute fest, Im going to be pissed.
Mandolin can be nice, sure. Theres also pretty acoustic guitar and non-obtrusive effeminate vocals, but when put together with the quiet-loud-quiet-loud-fade formula of heavier bands, youre stuck with an album that has no idea what it wants to be when it grows up.
3.4 / 10
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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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