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Alcest - Spiritual Instinct CD (album) cover

SPIRITUAL INSTINCT

Alcest

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.45 | 14 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Review originally posted in www.therocktologist.com

Almost ten years have passed since I discovered Alcest, a band I loved since the very first minute, a band I've followed closely through those years. It was love at first sight. And now, I am here to celebrate the release of 'Spiritual Instinct', their sixth studio album which recently saw the light through Nuclear Blast.

Neige and Winterhalter have become a wonderful team, and though Alcest is basically Neige's child, he's found in Winterhalter his best partner. For this record they created six enigmatic tracks that sound just like Alcest, not another band, and that is something great, it is not easy to create a unique sound that can be recognized within some seconds. The total length of this work is 41 minutes.

It starts with 'Les Jardins de Minuit', a solid first track that shows that wonderful blend of black metal and post rock this project has. The power of their music is evident since the very first minute, fast drums, those vocals and cool changes all over the song. And although I like it, there might be a problem there: it doesn't really show anything new.

The start of 'Protection' reminds me a lot of 'La Ou Naissent les Couleurs Nouvelles', it is curious that it is also a track number two. The music develops dark atmospheres, rock meets shoegaze and metal, and what I always love about this band is that use of clean and growl vocals, Neige knows very well how to do that.

'Sapphire' is the shortest song here and to be honest, has a rhythm quite alike to what we've already experience on the album, anyway, the high quality is always present, I love the screams, the guitars and the sensation of being in the woods running and being one with the wildlife (it is my mind, I know). It is maybe a catchier song, so anyone that doesn't know Alcest might like it.

'L'ile des Morts' is, on the other hand, the longest composition here, a track that develops a diversity of nuances in both, the instrumental parts and the ones with vocals, in fact, I believe the instrumental passages here are the best from the whole record, exciting moments full of rage, hope, brightness and darkness. A clear example of how Alcest manage to create countless emotions.

'Le miroir' starts with heavy and dark bass and guitars but then it vanishes and a new brighter and charming sound appears. This kind of beautiful passages are also a signature sound of Alcest, one can close the eyes, feel that peace and enjoy life. Though I don't understand French (sorry), I let my mind and soul to just feel, and that sometimes is enough.

The final song is 'Spiritual Instinct' is a very nice track that sums up what the album is about. And I'll be honest, I enjoy the album, all the times I've listened to it I've liked it, however, I think the guys just felt comfortable to show more of the same and don't give memorable gems, maybe their goal is not to create catchy singles, but in difference with previous albums, here I could not find outstanding songs and though while listening to them my mind reacts saying 'it is Alcest', it does not says 'it is THIS Alcest song', maybe they are not meant to be remembered.

An average Alcest album and probably me least favorite so far. But you know, things change.

memowakeman | 3/5 |

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