Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde
posted on 10/2007 By:
Known for his work with Amesoeurs, Mortifera, and Peste Noire, Neige’s least metal project Alcest has oddly enough generated more buzz than the others. While 2004’s Le Secret contained Burzumian screams on “Elevation,” the full-length Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde, or Memories of Another World, has abandoned such harshness in favor of pure shoegaze. Fortunately, this is a dreamy, enrapturing album that excels on all counts, though the vocals aren’t as striking as they used to be, but are still just as arresting, if not more so.
Offering six tracks that clock in at approximately 41 minutes, Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde has more than its fair share of beautiful moments that tug on the heartstrings like, say, the lush, melancholy opening of “Printemps Emeraude,” resigned yet moving passages of the title track, which benefit from the inclusion of acoustic guitar, and the pristine female vocals and sad lead near the close of “Les Iris.” Speaking of “Les Iris,” it’s here, and on “Sur l'autre Rive Je t'ttendrai,” that vestiges of BM appear in the various tones, rhythms, and structural elements, hinting at output from Drudkh, Raventale, and even Agalloch with regards to the acoustic bridge. “Ciel Errant” is sandwiched between the two above-mentioned songs, and is perhaps the most optimistic of the lot, except, however, for celebratory, piano-laden closer “Tu Nan Og.” Though Neige is reportedly responsible for the instrumentation – it’s all impeccably fitting – the female vocals are a true, undeniable asset to the Alcest sound.
Conjuring the beautiful landscape of spring, the nature-oriented Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde is the first of five albums that the France-based Alcest will release via Prophecy Productions. For better or worse, and whether this is overrated or not, it does set the bar pretty fuckin’ high. Still, citing the quality of Amesoeurs and Peste Noire, frontman Neige evidently has the Midas touch, which has obviously manifested itself again and again.
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