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Alcest - Souvenirs d'un autre monde CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.76 | 150 ratings

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4 stars The first full length offering by Alcest, and it's a good one. Mixing elements from their black metal past (there are still passages of heavily distorted guitar work) with beautiful clean guitar sounds, to create a wonderful and progressive distinctive sound. Entirely missing are the screamed metal vocals, instead opting for a voice that hovers on the boundary line between calming gentleness and subdued melancholia, never quite revealing which way it wants to tip. Even the distorted guitar passages are, whilst 'heavy' in some senses, still rich with melody, tuneful in their own way.

The album isn't quite addictive, moving, or memorable enough to be considered a true classic, and some listeners will still be turned off by the heavier elements at work here; I have played this album to friends before and been told it was "just noise" (oh they of unrefined palates!). That said, for anyone who is into post-rock, post-metal, the more melodic areas of ambient black metal, or just anyone that likes the sound of a really pretty twiddly bits of guitar, this is definitely a worthwhile purchase.

The best is still yet to come from this band, but this is still an exceptionally strong release, capable of fulfilling really any role required of it: it is 'ambient' enough to sit in the auditory background, the sonic equivalent of a beautiful woman (or handsome man!) sitting at the other side of the room whilst you work, or it is varied enough to be an activity and experience in itself.

A fully worthwhile release. 4/5

stranded_starfish | 4/5 |


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