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Alcest - Écailles de lune CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.03 | 291 ratings

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3 stars A bit schmaltzy

There was quite a lot of hype around that album in metal oriented media, praising it for beautiful atmosphere and enchanting melodies. I'm not that enthusiastic about it though. ÉCAILLES DE LUNE, being the second Alcest release, is indeed a charming yet a little bit shallow piece of post metal.

Now, production is great. As the record is often referred to as a black metal album(I don't get it, is it because of these 3 minutes of hellish shrieking in the second track?), I must say the sound is polished and clean. It kept enough of its natural state to be called organic though. Most of all, the producer did everything she/he could to enhance dreamy atmosphere of songs that Neige plies us with.

I'm a big fen of Fan (Fen of fen...? right, fan of Fen!), a British post black metal band, so I hoped Alcest would sound somewhat similar. While both bands can be described as a combination of black metal, shoegaze and post rock, proportions are completely different. Alcest's ÉCAILLES DE LUNE is, first of all, a shoegaze/post-rock album with some black metal leanings. Vocals are mostly clean, treated with strong reverb and somewhat hidden in the mix. And they are shoegaze vocals which I don't like that much. The biggest problem is the music though. Don't get me wrong, there are moments of bliss while listening to ÉCAILLES DE LUNE but some schmaltzy parts just spoil it for me. I think restrained songwriting is the thing Neige should work on, because his songs just miss some of the imagination you can hear in Agalloch's or Fen's music. Still, there's enough of great passages and skillfuly written compositions to consider it a solid album.

For fans of post-rock and shoegaze this is a real treat. ÉCAILLES DE LUNE is a successful combination of shoegazing melodies and post rock atmosphere - all seasoned with a pinch of black metal rawness. Despite the fact it somewhat lacks in depth, I can still recommend it for its well constructed songs and originality in terms of style. And... wait, lyrics are in french! Awww, I take back all negative things I've just said!!

TRACKS BY RATINGS: 8/10[great]: Percées de lumière || 7/10[very good]: Écailles de lune, Part II|| 6/10[good]: Solar Song; Sur l'océan couleur de fer || 5/10[not bad]: Écailles de lune, Part I ||

-- Originally posted on --

bartosso | 3/5 |


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