Alcest "Les Voyages de L’Ame"

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon ReviewsRating: 0.98/1
Alcest "Les Voyages de L’Ame"
  • Album: Les Voyages de L’Ame
  • Year: 2012
  • Label: PROPHECY
  • Artist: 
  • France

Neige obviously created a musical Metal wave I doubt anyone will ever equate... if that’s Shoegaze Black Metal, Romantic Dark Metal or Melancholic Metal/Rock, doesn’t even matter... ALCEST is on everyone’s lips, they played in 2 years as much as other Underground bands wouldn’t play in their entire history, they have fans everywhere, merchandise selling is in bloom, the band gives interviews, it’s visible... meaning alive! I’m very happy for Neige and Winterhalter and I hope they will never forget where they came from! They are extremely modest and discreet people and no matter what I discussed with them, they proved success hasn’t blinded or changed them... All my respects!

What’s strange is that with only 2 albums so far, the Frenchmen managed to impress the Metal scene and not only that, ALCEST being the “it band”! I wonder what’s next after the new album’s release, after the listener will be thrown into a new poetic dimension filled with nostalgia and musical melancholy... Yes, ”Les Voyages de L’Ame” presents the most intimate and introverted concept out of ALCEST’s whole discographic history, where the frailty and sensibility of these 8 expressions on stall will make many new victims, this time not only among Metal or Post-Rock fans. On the other hand, at the first audition, I can’t say that ALCEST comes up with something new, that it’s a different album than the previous one, from a compositional point of view or musical expression... But you need to listen closely to identify the new insertions and multiple valences of the fresh sound... otherwise, you’ll be wrapped and then dominated by this dreamy ALCEST aura without making differences between the last two albums. And I’m saying this because the vocal mixtures keep interchanging and I really miss those growls on many passages! There are only 2 tracks where you can hear the screams, but those tracks sound mind blowing: ”Faiseurs de Mondes” and ”La Ou Naissent Les Coulers Nouvelles”... these are the most complex, varied and worked on ALCEST tracks so far... Actually these 2 tracks are the ones outlining the new album’s specifics and dynamics... If I think about it, I realize the new ALCEST is conceived out of 3 somewhat different splits that are well congealed and structured, the 2 first ones being often used by Neige: one dreamy, romantic, slow... the other, aggressive, noisy... and the last one, visible only on this new material, the one showing us ALCEST’s sound keeps changing, taking new shapes (in a rather shy manner), offering the listener a mélange of various musical shadows, the most obvious ones being Goth, Epic, Pagan/Folk or Neofolk!

On other hand, the title track of the new album is the best example fitting ALCEST atmosphere, in its new clothes... suave, sensible, intimate, nostalgic... sublime... like a sad ballad! More Pop/Rock (in a mainstream way) seems to be ”Nous Somme L’emeraudes”, the sequences where the vocals have a crucial role in the simple rhythms filled with melody... but they keep, or better said, continue the previous track’s melancholic line... Somewhat more atmospheric and dreamy is also ”Autre Temps” (the album’s first sequence), where Neige’s warm and calm voice overflies but also controls the direction of every simple, repetitive, maybe sometimes boring chord, but that still sounds fantastic! It reminds me of LES DISCRETS in some ways...

The repetition from ”Beings of Light” didn’t captivate me, that contrast between clean, thin, filmy voice and harsh guitar riffs and rhythmic battery I kept hearing and the mentioned track doesn’t bring anything new... or maybe if it wasn’t that long... anyway, a rather modest and uninspired track... ”Havens” is an only 2 minutes interlude, a respiro I would find placed better as an outro... the album ends with ”Summer’s Glory”, a relaxing track with a relaxing voice, with a relaxing rhythm, just right to open an ALCEST show and enter the ALCEST dimension. I’m content with the album and I’m glad they don’t continuously repeat the direction they created and they improvise, change, insert... maybe in the following sequences we will discover some Psychedelic touches or abstract Experimental flavors? No matter what, I unconditionally love the ALCEST musical poetry and its audition is always a perfect opportunity to prepare my own introspective pilgrimage.