Alcest – Les voyages de l’âme
Third album of this amazing French band was firstly announced with a single “Autre temps” and then, finally, released this January. It would be an underestimation to say that album was awaited with impatience and curiosity, which all grew even more once the single was released. Now we can say that people have righteously had high hopes about this record and material presented on this LP shows once again that creativity and ability of these guys are legitimately appreciated worldwide in recent years.
From the very beginning are notable changes and slight turn in their sound – Alcest have decreased influences of black metal and its presence in their outlook and have expanded their post-rock, post-metal and shoegaze forms, similar to those they already used. Yet, they still sound genuinely unique and fresh.
Aforementioned “Autre temps” opens the album and then is followed by the monumental “La ou naissent les couleurs neuvelles”. It combines all elements considered as representative and typical for these Frenchmen – milder and calmer dreamy atmosphere which escalates into energetic and harsher ambience. Riffs and the whole guitar work still sound ingenious and in combination with production and powerful vocals create appealing atmosphere which takes over everyone who comes “under its influence”. This avant-garde approach is present throughout the whole album but notably in its second half where more instrumental and progressive parts dominate, culminating finally in ecstasy full of beautiful landscapes, late summer sun and strong presence of colors, dreams and hope.
Instrumental parts have more significant role than on previous albums and this could be the main difference with respect to the earlier efforts. Alcest are currently one of the best examples of the unconventional mixing of elements and evolution of one band’s sound, and most likely will be the initiators of future changes in post-metal sound creating with that road for other bands experimenting with these ideas. “Les voyages de l’ame” comes as a continuance of their work so far and for sure will place them on higher levels on a global scene.
Concepts and ideas which this band presents are still expanding and one must wander if they have limits at all. So far, all their work seems well-combined, structured and organized and it is always a pleasure to see what they have planned next.