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Alcest - Shelter CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.51 | 87 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars Well this was a surprise, gone is the black metal of 'Ecailles de Lune' and 'Souvenirs', what we have here actually reminds me more of modern day Anathema, very ethereal and truly gorgeous music. That being said, we lost a lot to get to this point, gone is the layered majesty of Ecailles, the adventurous nature of their previous works, gone is any sense of change or growth within the album (despite the sense that there seems to be a great deal of change and growth within the band).

The album, to me at least, feels stale. It's breathtaking, stunning, at times even jaw- dropping but it doesn't go anywhere... It persists, plateau's and then stagnates and this is despite the fact that I feel the two last songs are the albums best. Like Anathema's current albums it showcases only a part of the band and doesn't opt to change the sound or style throughout.

This is good in some ways, it gives a sense of unity and completion to the album but it is extremely detrimental in some other ways. On the one hand it lacks any ambition or creativity on the part of the album (not on the part of the band for making this album). On top of that the album begins to feel like a grind after a while and with so little originality between the songs it is difficult to differentiate one from another making the album, at least to some degree, forgettable.

My final point against this album is that it doesn't reward the listener with a close listening as almost all of the music is understood in its surface. This gives the album a more immediate appeal but also makes the album a bore on repeated listen. I don't dislike the album but I feel it functions fare better as background music than an album that warrants close and repeated listening.

I think this is a good album, and an album worth a listen if you enjoy modern Anathema or shoegaze rock. For everyone else, and for fans of older Alcest, I wouldn't recommend this album... Not a letdown because of its new style but because of the lack of ideas and musical change within the album.

2 stars

MJAben | 2/5 |


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