Year : 2011
Genre : Shoegaze / Retirement Home Black Metal
Label : Prophecy Productions
Origin : France
Rating : 8.5 / 10
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Alcest is a musical project in which fundamental band member Neige attempts to channel messages and emotions from a foreign land he is in contact with. With the earlier body of work of this band being partly misunderstood-, many have thought that the squad's previous outings are sinister, whereas they sought to be hypnotic and peaceful - Alcest indeed moved towards a direction that reveals the respective characteristics of eloquent, harmonic shoegaze music and retirement home black metal. This latter subgenre, of course, is not entirely over-populated yet, so Alcest's work certainly sounds to be quite relevant with the tremendous charm it has the capacity to account for. The album is a super-pleasant surprise in my opinion, as it does not concern itself at all with meta-expectations, finding and sharing peaceful, caressing content that I dare say, oftentimes is of transcendental significance. I will attempt to validate my claim in the body of this Alcest - Les Voyages De L'âme review. Read on if you want or don't.
This release is peaceful all the way through, making use of the orthodox black metal elements in a way so those are free to reveal their secretive tender side without inviting you to call treachery. Alcest's latest offers the content through a smartly limited set of compositional techniques, and, as result of this, the band is able to deliver SOME harmonies of unique significance - more on those later - while the bigger part of this release is "just" pleasant, straightforward, tame black metal that lends you a shoulder to put a head on, and the most aggressive it will get is a funny interlude in track number 2, in which the fronter reveals the Varg Vikernes for a minute or so.
The release makes use of a "real-and-natural" sounding production environment, and scarce are the times when the data seeks to invade you with fabrics having a lot of sounds parked into them. Even when such a thing happens, the wall of sound structures of the release demand immediate recognition : a central harmony always serves the function of a lighting tower, the tides are not intimidating, and you would have a hard time ending up lost in here, no matter how hard you tried.
The music of U2 gives me the shivers, probably because of the singing that I think lacks charisma and dignity, but, strangely enough, regardless how a particular mood calibration of this release reminds me of that findable in U2, in this record, I find the mood charismatic, charming and relevant. I promised to address the moments I think this LP shows true brilliance through, and that is the track called "Beings of Light". A very simple-, but heart-wrenchingly beautiful harmonic structure submits your awareness into blissful submission, and that's going to be be good fun. Alcest - Les Voyages De L'Ame sounds to me as the precise counter-pointing of Blut Aus Nord's trilogy, that which is expected to conclude this year. Listen to this, too, because if everyone listens to Blut Aus Nord, only, than that is so anti-underground, you feel me?
Rating : 8.5 / 10
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