Today, first of all, TDSR would like to posit a few rule(s) of the thumb for noobies: – If the cover of a metal album is black it most probably consists of very ugly music in the traditional 90’s metal vein. However, if the album cover is colorful and has no images of war or blood or anything harsh or violent and the lettering is written in looping archaic English cursive font, it most probably is a modern, “progressive” metal album which has “borrowed elements” from other “styles.”
Alcest is supposedly an atmospheric, melodic black metal band, but I think that is stretching the boundaries of “blackness” a little too far. Sure, there are the raging “wall of sound” guitars and the rasping, screeching vocals in between with fast tempos. But the vibe, it ain’t there, which will probably make the puritans slam this album and blacklist it (pun intended) However, here at TDSR we look beyond such narrow trappings and try to tell you whether the stuff truly sounds right or not.
The whole album stays within the boundaries of consonance and traditional melodic sensibilities never really venturing very far afield. This is very easy to listen and grasp, and I have to admit that it is enjoyable. The whole beauty and atmosphere grips you and makes this an album you can run through a couple of times in one go. The last three tracks are nothing special though, one is a filler, another does nothing but meander along ambiently while doing nothing other than adding atmosphere, and yet another has droning guitars reminiscent of a shoegazer band from the 90’s. You could use this stuff in the Lord of the Rings and it would fit right in with Enya and whatever else they used, its that sorta music. Recommended for people who would like to get into the metal genre but are not used to tremolo guitars or blast beats and more particularly dissonance and atonality. Metal heads can listen to this but should be warned that this will have a short shelf life, particularly if your shelf is home to Burzum and Emperor.
Recommended Tracks – Écailles De Lune (Part I), Écailles De Lune (Part II), Percées De Lumière