Have you ever asked yourself what will happen if someone with a blackmetal background starts a postrock-influenced band with a sense for great atmosphere and melodies? If you wonder what the result will be like you should check out ALCEST!
It all started back in 2001 with a first demo called Tristesse hivernale – a record which has not that much in common with nowadays ALCEST. When you listen to it you are immediately put back in the early 90s in when blackmetal in Norway had its mysterious climax. But already with the release of the first EP Le Secret in 2005 one got to hear that there are changes coming up. The instrumentation still sounded blackmetalish but with including some keyboard sounds and a few calmer parts the music got way more atmospheric. This evolution was supported was by broadening their style by adding a dream-like singing style next to the typical blackmetal screams.
With releasing the first full-length via the German label Prophecy Productions the discontinuity to the first record was complete. With Souvenirs d’un autre monde (2007) ALCEST found their style. ALCEST’s first album was marked by a unique guitar sound that combined the aggression and disharmony of blackmetal with the intensity of postrock and still sounded beautiful and fragile. Above all was a voice that made the listener feel like dreaming.
2010 Ècailles de Lune was released and continued the started path. On this record even some blackmetal screams returned which have been banned from their debut. Most outstanding on ALCEST’s second full-length release was the combination of the different trademarks they had through their history so far. The record sounded flawless – it was hard to differ clearly between blackmetal and melodies, between atmosphere and rawness.
With the beginning of 2012 the band takes with Les Voyages de l’Âme the next step. The evil energy of blackmetal is a bit reduced compared to their other releases but still audible. The drums are not anymore that impulsive like they used to be because the mixing put them more in the background. Instead ALCEST focused on atmosphere. The use of melodies extended so that the new record is heading more towards postrock. While listening to it ALCEST still sounds like soundtrack to your dreams. But if the previous releases have been the soundtrack to a disturbing dark dream the new record leaves more space for light and optimism.[/one_half]
So these eight new tracks take you on a great journey across wide and beautiful landscapes. But every now and then the musical past emerges by including blackmetal references. Nevertheless ALCEST managed it like on their second release to include them smooth into the big picture.
If you ask yourself now how many persons it takes to create such multilayered tunes the answer is probably surprising: one. Neige, the creative head behind the band is responsible for everything except the drums (which were recorded by Winterhalter). If you are curious now do not hesitate to check out his other musical projects like AMESOEURS as well where Neige joined forces with the amazing Fursy Teyssier – who is by the way responsible for most of ALCEST’s record-artworks.
song: Autre Temps – taken from: Les Voyages De L’Âme (2012)
– postrock, blackmetal
– from Paris / France
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