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Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs CD (album) cover



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3 stars When trawling through the subgrenre of post-metal, it is seemingly impossible to escape the overarching and ubiquitous influence of Neige, the central character in Alcest, as well as black metallers Peste Noire. This time, however, the formula is more simplistic: the atmospheric and melancholic synth-heavy passages seen in Alcest's later work are replaced here with much more up-front guitar riffs. Whilst far from lacking in beauty, this is a much more direct album than we are given in the ambient subtlety of Alcest's work.

One key element of Amesoeurs' release is the vocal work of Audrey Sylvain, ensuring that the music retains its sense of melody, despite the driving, heavy guitar work. The delicate grace of her voice matches up well with the quieter, cleaner instrumental passages, whilst at the same time producing a pleasingly highlighted contrast to the chundering metal on display the rest of the time.

I would note that this album is not as 'progressive', or, at least, not as daringly inventive as Neige's recent work with Alcest. This is straight forward, no-frills post-metal, treading a thin line between elevator-music and black metal. Fortunately, whilst far from being an outstanding example, it is at least a very adequate one. At no point does the music become simplistic or unvaried enough to bore the listener, whilst at the same time allowing for the possibility that it may be used as background music.

A good album, then, but no better than that. Buy it if you like post-metal, and sleep easily and peacefully in the knowledge that your money was well spent, but, for those that are unconvinced by the general thrust and themes of this style of music, this album will not convert you.


Report this review (#457483)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars After many listens I have decided to review this album. for me its a gem of a modern progressive musical record, why? well at first this may not sound as very progressive, but melding various genres together to get a fresh and original piece of music, ain't that progressive eh!! other than that there's neige here in this project, and it seems like everything he touches these days turns into gold! his contribution as the leader of the so called 'Blackgaze' movement is undeniable. Audry sylvain does a great job with the vocals here, delivering the appropriate emotions that the music tries to convey, and the sound is very modern or rather post modern here. The production quality is crisp and top notch. However one thing saddens me, and that being the fact that neige has already stated that this would be the one and only album that Amesoeurs has to offer, for now maybe, but my hopes are high that one day this project will get revived again.
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Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Amesoeurs' - Amesoeurs (7/10)

Best known as a side-project of Neige from post-metal darlings Alcest, Amesoeurs is something of a blackened shoegaze supergroup, with members of Peste Noire and Empyrium coming together with Neige to create something quite nice. I am a huge fan of Alcest, and really liked the first Amesoeurs release with the EP 'Ruines Humaines', so I had high hopes for this one. Sadly, 'Amesoeurs' is not the masterpiece debut album that I hoped for at the back of my mind, but it has manages to achieve a sound of its own, which for a supergroup, is a rare achievement in itself.

Although Amesoeurs has long been labelled as a black metal band, the self-titled debut does not embrace the style completely. 'Ruines Humaines' hinted at some pretty fierce depressive black metal, but here, it is as if they decided to go in a different direction than what the EP teaser implied. Instead of being 'black metal', or even metal in general, 'Amesoeurs' might best be compared with alot of shoegaze and post-punk bands. Upbeat drum beats, melodic guitar leads and Audrey Sylvain's soft voice are about as far from black metal as mandarin oranges are from devastating oil spills in the Pacific Ocean(?) Regardless, for those craving a harder edged sound, there are some faster-paced sections that verge on the tremolo picking of black metal, although things rarely get any heavier than Alcest's work with 'Souvenirs d'un Autre Monde'.

Amesoeurs definitely feels like the work of a couple of musicians who each have their own ideas of what they want the band to be. This results in a shift between graciously mid-tempo tunes, more upbeat post-punk parts, and the occasional return to the black metal sound of 'Ruines Humaines'. Whoever wanted Amesoeurs to go the mellow route seems to have prevailed however, because this album favours the lighter side more than anything else. 'Video Girl' and 'La Reine Trayeuse' emphasize an almost-ballad sound to the music, where Audrey's voice takes over with some melancholic melodies and distinctively French lyrics. The execution of 'Amesoeurs' is impressively consistent from the black metal elements to their lightest segments, but the way they approach this dynamic does not sit well with me. Amesoeurs have a strong sound to them, but the lean towards slower songs can lead the album to get a little more tedious than it should have been. Of course, 'Amesoeurs' should not be approached as a metal album, and as long as one isn't expecting a dark black metal record a la Peste Noire, there is impressive beauty to digest here.

Report this review (#597679)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2011 | Review Permalink

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