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Alcest - Le secret CD (album) cover



Experimental/Post Metal

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This EP offers neat impressions from Neige's eclectic concept of merging brutal metal elements with dreamy romantic art pop sounds. As I am quite open to both styles, I most honestly greeted the pleasant outcome of this personal approach. The first track starts with natural soundscapes similar to Pink Floyd's "More" album, wandering from calm ethereal chord progressions by vowing hypnotic webs to dusty corners of distant childhood memories. Melodic beautifulness redeems the charming promises of the record cover, and unites with trashy distortion effects deepening the surge of musical drive, and the long composition sleepwalks trough the rustic galleries of both past days and imagination. Soft and clean vocals contrasts the harder leanings of the music, and the overall compositional balances appear well adjusted. The sound quality didn't appear very good to my ears, maybe being part of black metal philosophies, which I have understood as a part of Alcest's musical legacy. The second song elevates towards more celestial movie soundtrack feelings, resembling some corners of peaceful sleep, from which a yet more rawer heavy sequence wakens up, and approaches more heavier metal territories with screaming and dirty tones. I like this music quite much, but I think the following long players are yet more better. Along with improved sound quality, the arrangements and solidity in style fusions get yet more matured in them. If listener appreciates the heavier side more, it is found from this record with stronger emphasis than on the following albums.
Report this review (#384690)
Posted Saturday, January 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Alcest ? le secret

So, a second EP from Alcest. This one falls much more truly into the category of post-metal or shoegaze-influenced ambient metal. Gone are the vast majority of the screamed corpse-like vocals, replaced by Neige's more gentle crooning. The guitars still hiss and the drums still thus and bang, but each with perhaps more melody and direction than before. This is a more refined, produced release from Alcest, and a big stepping-stone towards the eventual output they would come to create on their album-length releases.

Already, there are small signs of the beauty that awaits. This is still a step in the process, rather than the complete result ? but this is undoubtedly a stronger and more progressive release than the debut EP.

I give this 3.5/5, but sadly find myself inclined to round down rather than up. Three stars, then, for 'le secret'

Report this review (#429495)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars (Please note this is the review of the two tracks 2005 version)

Alcest is a French band who in my ears is a bit revolotionary in their mix of black metal and post rock. Take a large slice of Norwegian black metal like Burzum and fuse it with shoegaze post rock. The end result should be something like Alcest and this EP. In particular, this EP in fact. the 50/50 split between black metal and post rock is pretty rigid on this EP. A large chunk of post rock is followed by a large chunk of black metal, then again followed by a large chunk of post rock. This cycle is repeated one more time.

The vocals is both melancholic shoegaze and black metal screams. Not together, but the post rock vocals is also used during the black metal riffings and that makes their music pretty revolutionary in my view. This is something the Norwegian scene should had done back in 1995 ! The result is an angst ridden piece of music which is the trademark of Alcest.

The quality is good throughout and this EP is a must have for Alcest fans and those who likes this band's two albums. This band is onto something great and this EP just proves that.

3 stars

Report this review (#511022)
Posted Sunday, August 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Elevation is perfection and the most powerful piece of music Alcest has created. It begins with a peaceful, new-age soundscape and then without warning, it explodes into full-on black metal, rocketing the listener through the sky.

"Above the lakes, above the vales / The mountains and the woods, the clouds, the seas / Beyond the sun, beyond the ether / Beyond the confines of the starry spheres,

My soul, you move with ease / And like a strong swimmer in rapture in the wave / You wing your way blithely through boundless space / With virile joy unspeakable."

As the music soars, it relentlessly hurtles the listener through a purifying fire and invites him to step away from himself for a moment and experience the limitless potential of his spirit, which is as boundless as Nature itself.

Fly far, far away from this baneful miasma / And purify yourself in the celestial air / Drink the ethereal fire of those limpid regions / As you would the purest of heavenly nectars.

Beyond the vast sorrows and all the vexations / That weigh upon our lives and obscure our vision / Happy is he who can with his vigorous wing / Soar up towards those fields luminous and serene,

He whose thoughts, like skylarks / Toward the morning sky take flight / Who hovers over life and understands with ease / The language of flowers and silent things!"

I think Le Secret earns a 7/10 and Elevation a 10/10, so overall, this EP gets a 9/10 from me. An essential EP.

Report this review (#976097)
Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | Review Permalink

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