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Les Voyages de L'ame
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This is a quote that comes to my mind when trying to describe the essence of Les Voyages de l'Âme (literal translation: "The Voyages of the Soul"). Alcest has released a brew of controversy by hypercritical metal elitists everywhere by releasing music like this. Black metal has always earned its controversial reception by being dark and sinister (as well as Satanic, but that's irrelevant). Alcest, however, roves about the black metal scene in controversy by doing the very opposite: evoking hope and tranquility, adjectives I'd never thought I'd hear fittingly for any band or project falling under the black metal genre.
So, if I haven't said it yet, I'll say it now: Alcest is an enchanting manifestation of hope and beauty. Every song on Les Voyages de l'Âme is laced with calming melodies, constructed by simple yet powerful riffing and Neige's ethereal voice. What sets this back from doom bands and the ilk is the uplifting atmosphere of the melodies. Other atmospheric bands search for a dark, somber, and haunting feel to impress upon its listeners, but Les Voyages de l'Âme does things far differently. While some songs have a touch of melancholy, they, more often than not, possess a hopeful aura about them. Uniquely to any metal band, I can listen to these songs and forget about the pains and sufferings of my past. I listen to this, and it touches my soul with a will to..."embrace the beauty of life."
What, then, holds this album back? Once the veil of beauty is pierced, the listener is left with little to enjoy.Read more ›
"Neige" and company have put together the most incredible soundscape, and aural experience that could be truly best be experienced in a set of "fine" headphones.
This will absolutely transport you to another planet!
Production Values on this are superior; you can actually discern the tracking of acoustic guitars, multiple electric guitars,
and "ripping" lead breaks in every track. Incredible Drum Mix on whole album. Nothing meanders pointlessly, and every track has the proper length for flow and continuity. The Vocals by Neige border on the ethereal, even the multi-tracked harmony and backing vocals. Even though there were fewer Black Metal vocals than past LPs, I am sure that will be forgiven, given the overall experience of taking this all in at one time. Although each track is incredible by itself, the full measure of this masterpiece, begs you to take the full ride from start to finish.
Take the time; its worth the trip and you won't be disappointed you did.
This is Alcest at their best, and possibly their most accessible release. This is a great album to test out your new sound system with, and surely a disc that won't be leaving your rotation anytime soon.
Incredible Stuff, contender for Album of the Year in lots of Genres.
If you're into metal but not necessarily into the super intense, blistering, pounding your head in guitars then this album should give you everything you're looking for without any of the extremities that might put you off.
"Les Voyages de L'ame" is a journey into deep inner space, with layers of guitars that caress, swoop, dive and sometimes sting, amid beautiful ambience that makes the music much more palatable to a broader range of listeners. By referring Alcest to black metal, we pigeonhole them and potential fans who don't like their metal or any rock music as extreme will not listen. And really, what does Alcest have sonically to do with Immortal or Mayhem, both flag bearers of black metal, but otherwise not related to Niege and his unique vision?
This third album is sung in French, and that by itself adds to the allure. Niege's soft tranquil voice is an instrument in itself, and he keeps busy playing everything but drums on this CD. For those looking for rock that transports them to a better place, at least while the CD is on, and appreciate real musical dynamics, which so many outfits plainly lack, "Les Voyages de L'ame" is that album, a great lead up to their newest release, "Shelter", which ditches distorted guitars altogether and is even more mesmerizing. This is beautiful music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The above tagline says it all.
It's not long enough for an Amazon review though.
I'll just stand and gaze at my shoes for a bit.
That'll do. Read more
This is one of my bed-time discs, and I love it for that.
I'm not going to go into a deep review because it's not necessary. Read more
This review is strictly about the vinyl. Now, when I ordered this, the seller claimed white vinyl, but alas, it was translucent blue. Read morePublished on July 11, 2012 by Frances
The latest offering from Alcest follows roughly the same template as Neige's previous albums, but, surprisingly, it is vastly better. Read morePublished on May 31, 2012 by Angry Mofo