I’ve been obsessed with one album these past few days: Écailles de Lune from Alcest. Perhaps I listened to it so much because of the stormy, rainy weather, perhaps because my mood was a little melancholic, but mostly because this music is the kind of metal I enjoy the most. Like my favorite bands Agalloch, Drudkh, Wolves In The Throne Room, Alcest cannot be described as being a one-genre kind of metal. You could even argue whether this is metal at all. Fact remains that it combines so many elements that I enjoy: melancholic melodies, dreamy soundscapes, clean vocals, harsh black metal vocals. Each song on this album tells a story of its own. Neige never ceases to amaze me with his ability to paint musical landscapes that tend to make my mind leave the physical world to a higher state of being: dreaming, fantasizing, drifting.
My favorite song is Écailles de Lune Part II, which starts off with a dreamy melody, before it erupts in a few minutes of black metal fury. It makes me feel like I’m standing in the midst of a storm. And then, to my surprise, a folk melody with almost slavic influences (I couldn’t help but think of Drudkh here) follows the fury. We are allowed to relax a little, faery like vocals follow Neiges screams. The melody from the beginning returns and we can sink back into a dreamy state of being…..what a bliss!
Listen to Écailles de Lune Part II on YouTube:
I consider myself very lucky to have seen Alcest’s first live performance in Romania a couple of weeks ago!
2 thoughts on “Alcest”
I agree with you that this is a beautiful album. I read some reviews which wondered whether this music is black metal or some kind of new shoegaze style. To me, it doesn’t really matter (I just call it shoegaze black metal 😉 ) but for sure this album crosses a few genres. And most definitely some of the guitar sounds remind me a lot of one of my favorite favorite bands, My Bloody Valentine.
It’s funny how at every Agalloch tour I dscover a new great band:
In 2008 it was Fen
In 2009 it was Dorneriech
in 2010 it’s Alcest.
You know what Maaike?
My favorite song from the new album is “Percées de lumière” . I just LOVE it!
Have you listened to their first album? That’s another amazing piece of music.