I finally got my hands on this album about a week back and it has taken me this long to find words to describe the experience that Alcest’s latest album puts me through every time I plug it in. Aptly titled, this album would literally take your soul away.
A teaser track “Autre Temps” released earlier as an official video had already created quite a buzz in the post metal buff circles and had quite rightly led to a much expected hype for the upcoming album. And it lived up to it, even the toughest critic would find it hard to find flaws with this new production.
The album starts with an album version of the aforementioned song which contains nearly a minute extra in the beginning, with a clear acoustic melody echoing from the speakers. Never has an album set the atmosphere to the requisite ambient conditions so soon or with such élan.
Niege’s voice, as many of you would’ve heard, enthrals and seeps deep into the skin all the way till that peculiar zone in oneself, opening doors to all possibilities and simultaneously allowing one to find solace and tranquillity even while being physically present in a world filled prosaic and tedious situations. The skill in this artistry (notice artistry and not musicianship, for the music is pleasant not only in an audile sense but also affects a place far deeper inside) is remarkable not to mention the production which basically gave the album this theme to work upon.
The second track is a fine example of the genre most of Alcest’s fan base likes to categorise them under. Very distinct post metal elements dominate the soundscape there, quite a pleasant change from the first track. The third and fourth track, third being self-titled, are reminiscent of the reasons why one turns to bands like Alcest in the first place. Elements of doom and melancholy weaved in beautifully like a requiem for the Gods. Admitted I have no clue as to what is actually being sung, but the symptoms one experiences on listening to these tracks leaves them floating in a space so vast and empty and yet surrounded by music so real and intuitive.
The first time Beings of Light played on my earphones, I was crossing a road, and for those two seconds an image of Lothlorien flashed across my eye. Now that may just be because I’m a Middle Earth man through and through, nonetheless you’d see. Give it a listen. The breakdown that follows subsequently was quite a trip. Three more songs and the albums came to an end, all three quite in line with the self-titled track and Nous Somme L’Emeraude. Summer’s Glory : A beautiful end to a beautiful production.
What I liked most about this band, right from when I began following them is their vehement opposition to be placed under a category of music, quite easily depicted by their choice in music. Alcest have always been the odd stitch. This album too honours them by awarding them with their own pedestal.
For those who have not yet tried Alcest, this album along with “Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde” is a a must listen. Join us on the other side.
I refuse to subject this album to such a trivial thing as a rating.