Souvenirs D'Un Autre Monde
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Souvenirs d'un autre monde
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|Audio CD, August 14, 2007||
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An incredible and emotionally jarring musical journey from one of France's most respected and best musicians within the black metal scene. Alcest sole proprietor, and multi-instrumentalist Neige has always been seen as one of the most recognized and talented musicians within France's illustrious black metal underground. With experiences in such respected acts as Peste Noire, Mortirera, and more recently with the wonder known as Amesoeurs, Neige has proven himself to be an exceptional and distinct musician within the scene. And one of the most respected.
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"Souvenirs" is the first Alcest album, and while it has grinding guitars, the melody quotient is higher, and Niege sings throughout, his silky voice an instrument unto itself. He is also a master of melody, creating passages of timeless beauty and richness that guarantee that none of his albums need go stale.
My wife and I even like the fact he sings in French, as the most melodious of languages fits the music perfectly. Indeed, one doesn't even care what the lyrics are, enjoying instead a voice as an instrument. "Souvenirs" is brilliant, and shows all the magic Niege would record in the future. I hate the term "shoegaze", and for that matter hate the over labeling all bands and artists have to endure. This is simply introspective, soulful music, heavy enough for metal fans but simultaneously beautiful for others who wouldn't ordinarily like the heavier sections.
I can't wait for the follow up to "Shelter", and I'm glad CD's are in binary code because if Alcest was on vinyl, I'd wear them out in short order. For those who are sick of music that doesn't touch the listener any more, or sick of the blandness that permeates so much pop music out there, Alcest is a wonderful respite. I can't recommend "Souvenirs" or any Alcest CD highly enough.
Pros- Perfect from start to finish. Great ideas never overstay their welcome or get boring. Perfectly balanced between shoegaze and great metal.
Overall- One of the best metal (related) albums from 2007, if not the best (along with the releases by Pig Destroyer, Deathspell Omega, Dillinger Escape Plan, Caina and High on Fire).
Now with that out of the way, I felt I needed to comment on the "Black Metal" aspects of this release I keep hearing from various sources - this is as close to Black Metal as,say,Jesus and Mary Chain! "Loveless"-era My Bloody Valentine is more METAL than this!! Please dont take this as an attempt to detract one from purchasing,as this is GREAT music.Just know what you ARENT getting yourself into!
France - 2007
Niege - all instruments and vocals
I discovered Alcest, when I was listening to AUSTERE, so when I ordered this album I was expecting something similar to Austere, and the depressive melancholic black metal scene.
When Alcest's album arrived to me, I understand that this is not the same style as Austere, Alcest reflects the purity and the sadness inside the mind of a man.
It can guide you through the desolated paths of life, all across the pain and then set you free with a peaceful smile.
That is Alcest, the pure decadence of the insignificance of being alive.