ALCEST

Atmospheric Black Metal / Metal Related / Non-Metal / Black Metal • France
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Formed in 1999 by French black metal multi-instrumentalist Neige (who also worked with Peste Noire, Mortifera, and Amesoeurs), Alcest was originally conceived as a solo project. It would eventually take on the form of a full band as Hegnor (also of Peste Noire) and Arguth joined the fray and released a four-track demo entitled Tristesse Hivernale in 1999. This demo was a more straightforward black metal affair, much different from what would happen next. After that released, Alcest returned to a one-member format, with Neige moving away from the metal overtones of the three-piece and embracing a more atmospheric approach to his work. The 2005 EP release, Le Secret, was more in tune with the project`s ultimate goal, which was to put to ear, as it were, Neige`s fascination with an "otherworld" -- of sorts -- that had held a fascination for him beginning in his childhood. In 2007, Neige read more...
Thanks to Vehemency, bartosso, Sisslith for the updates

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KodamaKodama
Prophecy Productions 2016
$19.93
$20.48 (used)
Ecailles de LuneEcailles de Lune
Prophecy 2018
$19.98
$20.76 (used)
Souvenirs d'un autre mondeSouvenirs d'un autre monde
Prophecy 2017
$17.95
$22.53 (used)
Les Voyages de L'ameLes Voyages de L'ame
Prophecy Productions 2012
$11.97
$5.10 (used)
Shelter (digisleeve)Shelter (digisleeve)
Prophecy Productions 2014
$12.98
$11.67 (used)
Le SecretLe Secret
Prophecy (Dismanic) 2011
$9.23
$9.18 (used)
Le SecretLe Secret
Prophecy Productions 2016
$18.70
$24.90 (used)
Shelter (colored vinyl)Shelter (colored vinyl)
Prophecy Productions 2014
$55.20
ShelterShelter
Prophecy 2018
$18.05
$20.76 (used)
Ecailles De Lune (Digipack Edition) by Alcest (2010-05-04)Ecailles De Lune (Digipack Edition) by Alcest (2010-05-04)
Prophecy Productions
$35.25 (used)
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Alcest - Kodama [CD] Alcest - Kodama [CD] USD $16.94 Buy It Now 2h 10m
Alcest Alcest "Shelter" LP. Limited edition Green Vinyl. Import (PRO 143) 2015. RARE ! USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5h
ALCEST - Les Voyages De Lame OrangeVINYL LP ALCEST - Les Voyages De Lame OrangeVINYL LP USD $21.98 Buy It Now 6h
Alcest - Kodama Vinyl LP Alcest - Kodama Vinyl LP USD $19.98 Buy It Now 10h
Alcest Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde CD new Alcest Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde CD new USD $18.99 Buy It Now 11h
ALCEST - Le Secret CD 2011 Re-issue Prophecy Productions ALCEST - Le Secret CD 2011 Re-issue Prophecy Productions USD $12.68 Buy It Now 1 day
ALCEST-ECAILLES DE LUNE (BLK) VINYL LP NEW ALCEST-ECAILLES DE LUNE (BLK) VINYL LP NEW USD $23.21 Buy It Now 1 day
ALCEST-LES VOYAGES DE L`AME VINYL NEW ALCEST-LES VOYAGES DE L`AME VINYL NEW USD $23.21 Buy It Now 1 day
ALCEST-SHELTER VINYL NEW ALCEST-SHELTER VINYL NEW USD $23.29 Buy It Now 1 day
Souvenirs d'un Autre Monde by Alcest: New Souvenirs d'un Autre Monde by Alcest: New USD $20.82 Buy It Now 1 day
Alcest - Souvenirs D'Un Autre Monde (Vinyl Used Like New) Alcest - Souvenirs D'Un Autre Monde (Vinyl Used Like New) USD $19.97 Buy It Now 1 day
Alcest: Ecailles De Lune CD 2010 Prophecy Products Germany PRO 106 Original NEW Alcest: Ecailles De Lune CD 2010 Prophecy Products Germany PRO 106 Original NEW USD $15.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Kodama - Alcest Compact Disc Free Shipping! Kodama - Alcest Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $15.81 Buy It Now 1 day
Les Discrets ‎– Virée Nocturne - SEALED VINYL - LP RECORD alcest Les Discrets ‎– Virée Nocturne - SEALED VINYL - LP RECORD alcest USD $21.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Les Discrets - Arctic Plateau - SEALED VINYL - LP RECORD alcest Les Discrets - Arctic Plateau - SEALED VINYL - LP RECORD alcest USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Les Discrets - Live At Roadburn - BLACK VINYL - LP RECORD alcest Les Discrets - Live At Roadburn - BLACK VINYL - LP RECORD alcest USD $28.86 Buy It Now 1 day
FOREFATHER legends untold ORIG 2000 MILLENIUM MUSIC-absu,agalloch,alcest,windir FOREFATHER legends untold ORIG 2000 MILLENIUM MUSIC-absu,agalloch,alcest,windir USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
GONTYNA KRY welowie ORIG 1998 CD-R OLD LEGEND PROD-agalloch,alcest,les discrets GONTYNA KRY welowie ORIG 1998 CD-R OLD LEGEND PROD-agalloch,alcest,les discrets USD $59.99 Buy It Now 1 day
LUX OCCULTA my guardian angel ORIG 1999 PAGAN RECORDS-agalloch,alcest,windir LUX OCCULTA my guardian angel ORIG 1999 PAGAN RECORDS-agalloch,alcest,windir USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
MUTIILATION majestas leprosus ORIG 2003 ORDEALIS W/LYRICS-alcest,nyktalgia,luror MUTIILATION majestas leprosus ORIG 2003 ORDEALIS W/LYRICS-alcest,nyktalgia,luror USD $79.99 Buy It Now 1 day
BLOODLINE werewolf training ORIG 2003 SELBSTMORD SERVICES-alcest,agalloch,windir BLOODLINE werewolf training ORIG 2003 SELBSTMORD SERVICES-alcest,agalloch,windir USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
NEGURA BUNGET Maiastru Malastru Sfetnic 2CD ARTBOOK,Alcest,Les Discrets,Agalloch NEGURA BUNGET Maiastru Malastru Sfetnic 2CD ARTBOOK,Alcest,Les Discrets,Agalloch USD $79.99 Buy It Now 1 day
John Eliot Gardiner Anne Sofie Von Otter Paul Groves GLUCK Alcest Promo2x CD Set John Eliot Gardiner Anne Sofie Von Otter Paul Groves GLUCK Alcest Promo2x CD Set USD $22.71 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest-Shelter  CD NEW Alcest-Shelter CD NEW USD $18.04 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest - Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde [CD] Alcest - Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde [CD] USD $17.50 Buy It Now 2 days
AVENGER shadows of the damned ORIG 1998 BREATH OF NIGHT-agalloch,alcest,dawn AVENGER shadows of the damned ORIG 1998 BREATH OF NIGHT-agalloch,alcest,dawn USD $59.99 Buy It Now 2 days
AVENGER fall of devotion ORIG 1999 BREATH OF NIGHT-alcest,lantlos,agalloch,absu AVENGER fall of devotion ORIG 1999 BREATH OF NIGHT-alcest,lantlos,agalloch,absu USD $59.99 Buy It Now 2 days
BELENOS notre amour eternel ORIG 1998 POLYPHEMUS-MINT!-agalloch,windir,alcest BELENOS notre amour eternel ORIG 1998 POLYPHEMUS-MINT!-agalloch,windir,alcest USD $99.99 Buy It Now 2 days
BELENOS l'ancien temps 2CD ORIG 2004 SACRAL PROD-agalloch,alcest,windir,enslaved BELENOS l'ancien temps 2CD ORIG 2004 SACRAL PROD-agalloch,alcest,windir,enslaved USD $39.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Emma Ruth Rundle ‎Some Heavy Ocean vinyl lp Chelsea Wolfe Marissa Nadler Alcest Emma Ruth Rundle ‎Some Heavy Ocean vinyl lp Chelsea Wolfe Marissa Nadler Alcest USD $3.33 (0 bids)
2 days
THROES OF DAWN binding the spirit CD ORIG 2000 DIGIPAK WOUNDED LOVE REC-alcest THROES OF DAWN binding the spirit CD ORIG 2000 DIGIPAK WOUNDED LOVE REC-alcest USD $39.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest - Kodama [New CD] Alcest - Kodama [New CD] USD $39.81 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest - Kodama [New CD] Alcest - Kodama [New CD] USD $34.10 Buy It Now 2 days
PRIMORDIAL storm before the calm CD ORIG 2002 HAMMERHEART -agalloch,alcest,absu PRIMORDIAL storm before the calm CD ORIG 2002 HAMMERHEART -agalloch,alcest,absu USD $39.99 Buy It Now 2 days
YEARNING plaintive scenes CD ORIG 1999 DIGIPAK HOLY REC-SEALED!-agalloch,alcest YEARNING plaintive scenes CD ORIG 1999 DIGIPAK HOLY REC-SEALED!-agalloch,alcest USD $34.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest - Les Voyages De L'Âme LP (White vinyl) Alcest - Les Voyages De L'Âme LP (White vinyl) USD $55.00 Buy It Now 2 days
LEGION OF DOOM for those of the blood CD 1997 HYPERVOREA RECORDS-alcest,absu LEGION OF DOOM for those of the blood CD 1997 HYPERVOREA RECORDS-alcest,absu USD $174.99 Buy It Now 2 days
MORTIFERA vastiia tenebrd mortifera CD DIGIPAK 2004 GOATOWAREX-alcest,agalloch MORTIFERA vastiia tenebrd mortifera CD DIGIPAK 2004 GOATOWAREX-alcest,agalloch USD $49.99 Buy It Now 2 days
BUTTERFLY TEMPLE earth CD 2010 DIGIBOOK METALISM-drudkh,alcest,nargaroth,fen BUTTERFLY TEMPLE earth CD 2010 DIGIBOOK METALISM-drudkh,alcest,nargaroth,fen USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
BUTTERFLY TEMPLE times of mara CD 2008 IROND/SLEASZY-drudkh,alcest,nargaroth BUTTERFLY TEMPLE times of mara CD 2008 IROND/SLEASZY-drudkh,alcest,nargaroth USD $10.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ALCEST - OPALE NEW VINYL RECORD ALCEST - OPALE NEW VINYL RECORD USD $21.94 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest Shelter Digipak Prophecy                                           cd4505 Alcest Shelter Digipak Prophecy cd4505 USD $7.95 Buy It Now 2 days
CREMATORY believed CD 2007 DIGIPAK MASSACRE REC-lacrimosa,alcest,windir,absu CREMATORY believed CD 2007 DIGIPAK MASSACRE REC-lacrimosa,alcest,windir,absu USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest - Kodama [CD] Alcest - Kodama [CD] USD $15.41 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest Shelter New Gold Vinyl W/Poster Alcest Shelter New Gold Vinyl W/Poster USD $34.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest - Kodama [New Vinyl] Alcest - Kodama [New Vinyl] USD $22.64 Buy It Now 2 days
ALCEST - LE SECRET [EP] USED - VERY GOOD CD ALCEST - LE SECRET [EP] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $18.69 Buy It Now 2 days
ALCEST - LE SECRET [EP] NEW CD ALCEST - LE SECRET [EP] NEW CD USD $18.94 Buy It Now 2 days
ALCEST - OPALE NEW VINYL RECORD ALCEST - OPALE NEW VINYL RECORD USD $42.19 Buy It Now 2 days
ALCEST - KODAMA * NEW CD ALCEST - KODAMA * NEW CD USD $39.80 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest - Shelter [New CD] Alcest - Shelter [New CD] USD $10.16 Buy It Now 2 days
Alcest - Le Secret [New CD] Ltd Ed Alcest - Le Secret [New CD] Ltd Ed USD $15.45 Buy It Now 2 days
OTYG sagovindars boning CD 1999 NAPALM REC-vintersorg,windir,alcest,agalloch OTYG sagovindars boning CD 1999 NAPALM REC-vintersorg,windir,alcest,agalloch USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3 days
SACRIVERSUM sigma draconis CD 2004 METAL MIND-alcest,wintersun,agalloch,kataxu SACRIVERSUM sigma draconis CD 2004 METAL MIND-alcest,wintersun,agalloch,kataxu USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3 days
SACRIVERSUM mozartia CD 2003 METAL MIND-alcest,agalloch,wintersun,belphegor SACRIVERSUM mozartia CD 2003 METAL MIND-alcest,agalloch,wintersun,belphegor USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3 days
SACRIVERSUM soteria CD 1998 SERENADES RECORDS-alcest,wintersun,agalloch,kataxu SACRIVERSUM soteria CD 1998 SERENADES RECORDS-alcest,wintersun,agalloch,kataxu USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3 days
SACRIVERSUM the shadow of the golden fire CD 2001 SERENADES-alcest,agalloch SACRIVERSUM the shadow of the golden fire CD 2001 SERENADES-alcest,agalloch USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Alcest - Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde [New CD] Alcest - Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde [New CD] USD $19.39 Buy It Now 3 days
Alcest - Ecailles De Lune [New CD] Alcest - Ecailles De Lune [New CD] USD $19.27 Buy It Now 3 days
Alcest - Kodama [New Vinyl] Alcest - Kodama [New Vinyl] USD $27.29 Buy It Now 3 days
SACRIVERSUM beckettia CD 2000 SERENADES REC-alcest,wintersun,agalloch,kataxu SACRIVERSUM beckettia CD 2000 SERENADES REC-alcest,wintersun,agalloch,kataxu USD $15.99 Buy It Now 3 days
THE MEADS OF ASPHODEL/MAYHEM Split CD 2002 SUPERNAL MUSIC-windir,alcest,absu THE MEADS OF ASPHODEL/MAYHEM Split CD 2002 SUPERNAL MUSIC-windir,alcest,absu USD $29.99 Buy It Now 3 days
GRIEF OF EMERALD nightspawn CD ORIG 1998 LISTENABLE REC-lord belial,alcest,absu GRIEF OF EMERALD nightspawn CD ORIG 1998 LISTENABLE REC-lord belial,alcest,absu USD $12.99 Buy It Now 3 days
GRIEF OF EMERALD malformed seed CD 2000 LISTENABLE REC-lord belial,alcest,absu GRIEF OF EMERALD malformed seed CD 2000 LISTENABLE REC-lord belial,alcest,absu USD $12.99 Buy It Now 3 days
LES DISCRETS ariettes oubliees...2 CD Artbook,Alcest,Agalloch,Nhor,Lifelover LES DISCRETS ariettes oubliees...2 CD Artbook,Alcest,Agalloch,Nhor,Lifelover USD $119.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Insomnium One For Sorrow Gold Limited 2Lp Katatonia Opeth Alcest Insomnium One For Sorrow Gold Limited 2Lp Katatonia Opeth Alcest USD $65.99 Buy It Now 4 days
ELEND - THE UMBERSUN CD tristitia ulver godsend nightfall yearning alcest opeth ELEND - THE UMBERSUN CD tristitia ulver godsend nightfall yearning alcest opeth USD $12.99 Buy It Now 4 days
DRACONIAN - SOVRAN CD alcest omnium tiamat swallow my dying katatonia paradise DRACONIAN - SOVRAN CD alcest omnium tiamat swallow my dying katatonia paradise USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4 days
DEATH IN JUNE - peaceful snow  CD DIGIPACK alcest cure agalloch ulver DEATH IN JUNE - peaceful snow CD DIGIPACK alcest cure agalloch ulver USD $17.99 Buy It Now 4 days
DRACONIAN - SOVRAN CD alcest omnium tiamat swallow my dying katatonia paradise DRACONIAN - SOVRAN CD alcest omnium tiamat swallow my dying katatonia paradise USD $4.99 Buy It Now 4 days
DEATH IN JUNE - ALL PIGS MUST DIE CD DIGIPACK sol current ulver agalloch alcest DEATH IN JUNE - ALL PIGS MUST DIE CD DIGIPACK sol current ulver agalloch alcest USD $15.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Alcest - Le Secret (Vinyl Used Very Good) Alcest - Le Secret (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $22.97 Buy It Now 4 days
PESTE NOIRE - L'Ordure CD Album - SEALED Import - Alcest Neige KPN - BLACK METAL PESTE NOIRE - L'Ordure CD Album - SEALED Import - Alcest Neige KPN - BLACK METAL USD $24.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Lantlôs ‎– Lantlôs (black vinyl)  LP record alcest Lantlôs ‎– Lantlôs (black vinyl) LP record alcest USD $30.99 Buy It Now 4 days
AMESOEURS amesoeurs CD ORIG 2009 CODE666 RECORDS! -les discrets,alcest,agalloch, AMESOEURS amesoeurs CD ORIG 2009 CODE666 RECORDS! -les discrets,alcest,agalloch, USD $24.99 Buy It Now 4 days
FJOERGYN jahreszeiten CD 2009 DIGIPAK TROLLZORN-agalloch,nargaroth,alcest,fen FJOERGYN jahreszeiten CD 2009 DIGIPAK TROLLZORN-agalloch,nargaroth,alcest,fen USD $14.99 Buy It Now 4 days
EISREGEN zerfall CD 1998 LAST EPISODE-alcest,agalloch,the chasm,les discrets EISREGEN zerfall CD 1998 LAST EPISODE-alcest,agalloch,the chasm,les discrets USD $29.99 Buy It Now 4 days
FINIST awakening CD 2005 ANCIENT NA-agalloch,alcest,wintersun,nokturnal mortum FINIST awakening CD 2005 ANCIENT NA-agalloch,alcest,wintersun,nokturnal mortum USD $49.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Alcest - Ecailles De Lune [CD] Alcest - Ecailles De Lune [CD] USD $15.24 Buy It Now 4 days
Alcest - Ecailles De Lune (Jewel Case Edition) (NEW CD) Alcest - Ecailles De Lune (Jewel Case Edition) (NEW CD) USD $17.76 Buy It Now 5 days
 Darvulia ‎– L'Odeur Du Corbeau Mort DEMO TAPE PESTE NOIRE ALCEST Darvulia ‎– L'Odeur Du Corbeau Mort DEMO TAPE PESTE NOIRE ALCEST USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Alcest - Ecailles De Lune NEW CD Alcest - Ecailles De Lune NEW CD USD $15.37 Buy It Now 5 days
ALCEST - Les Voyages De L'ame LP - Red Colored Vinyl - Peste Noire - NEW COPY ALCEST - Les Voyages De L'ame LP - Red Colored Vinyl - Peste Noire - NEW COPY USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5 days
CALEDONIAN acolyte CD ORIG 2002 DARKWIND RECORDS-alcest,les discrets,silentium CALEDONIAN acolyte CD ORIG 2002 DARKWIND RECORDS-alcest,les discrets,silentium USD $12.99 Buy It Now 5 days
VALAR magic and wyrmfire CD 2001 OAKEN SHIELD-azaghal,urfaust,alcest,agalloch VALAR magic and wyrmfire CD 2001 OAKEN SHIELD-azaghal,urfaust,alcest,agalloch USD $15.99 Buy It Now 5 days
ALCEST-KODAMA CD NEW ALCEST-KODAMA CD NEW USD $15.00 Buy It Now 6 days
TRIST Willenskraft CD DIGIPAK LTD Alcest Lunar Aurora Paysage d’Hiver Darkspace TRIST Willenskraft CD DIGIPAK LTD Alcest Lunar Aurora Paysage d’Hiver Darkspace USD $11.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Alcest - Souvenirs D'Un Autre M (CD Used Very Good) Alcest - Souvenirs D'Un Autre M (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.07 Buy It Now 6 days
ALCEST - KODAMA   CD NEW+ ALCEST - KODAMA CD NEW+ USD $33.48 Buy It Now 6 days
Wolfshade - Monumentum CD Package Deal Fen Alcest Fields of the Nephilim Wolfshade - Monumentum CD Package Deal Fen Alcest Fields of the Nephilim USD $15.00 Buy It Now 6 days
ALCEST - SOUVENIRS D'UN AUTRE MONDE (LIMITED HARDCOVER BUCH)   CD NEW+ ALCEST - SOUVENIRS D'UN AUTRE MONDE (LIMITED HARDCOVER BUCH) CD NEW+ USD $40.89 Buy It Now 6 days
Alcest - Kodama 884388719026 (CD Used Very Good) Alcest - Kodama 884388719026 (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.16 Buy It Now 6 days
Ecailles De Lune, Alcest, Audio CD, New, FREE & Fast Delivery Ecailles De Lune, Alcest, Audio CD, New, FREE & Fast Delivery USD $22.69 Buy It Now 6 days
Alcest - Ecailles De Lune [CD] Alcest - Ecailles De Lune [CD] USD $16.94 Buy It Now 7 days
ALCEST - SHELTER ALCEST - SHELTER USD $30.16 Buy It Now 7 days
ALCEST - LES VOYAGES DE LAME ALCEST - LES VOYAGES DE LAME USD $30.16 Buy It Now 7 days
ALCEST - KODAMA ALCEST - KODAMA USD $28.35 Buy It Now 7 days
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ALCEST Discography

ALCEST albums / top albums

ALCEST Souvenirs d'un autre monde album cover 3.90 | 29 ratings
Souvenirs d'un autre monde
Metal Related 2007
ALCEST Écailles de lune album cover 4.15 | 49 ratings
Écailles de lune
Atmospheric Black Metal 2010
ALCEST Les Voyages de L'âme album cover 3.63 | 28 ratings
Les Voyages de L'âme
Atmospheric Black Metal 2012
ALCEST Shelter album cover 3.29 | 12 ratings
Shelter
Non-Metal 2014
ALCEST Kodama album cover 4.41 | 7 ratings
Kodama
Atmospheric Black Metal 2016

ALCEST EPs & splits

ALCEST Le Secret album cover 4.25 | 6 ratings
Le Secret
Atmospheric Black Metal 2005
ALCEST Aux Funérailles Du Monde / Tristesse Hivernale album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Aux Funérailles Du Monde / Tristesse Hivernale
Black Metal 2007
ALCEST Les Discrets / Alcest album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Les Discrets / Alcest
Metal Related 2009
ALCEST Le Secret (re-recorded) album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Le Secret (re-recorded)
Atmospheric Black Metal 2011

ALCEST live albums

ALCEST demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ALCEST Tristesse Hivernale album cover 2.17 | 2 ratings
Tristesse Hivernale
Atmospheric Black Metal 2001

ALCEST re-issues & compilations

ALCEST singles (1)

.. Album Cover
3.07 | 3 ratings
Autre Temps
Metal Related 2011

ALCEST movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

ALCEST Reviews

ALCEST Souvenirs d'un autre monde

Album · 2007 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
ALCEST, although a complete band, wasn't always so. While founded by Neige in 2000 (about the same time he joined Peste Noire), the original band that consisted of Aegnor and Argoth soon imploded after the demo "Tristesse Hivernale. " The two members soon departed leaving Neige as a one-man band for eight long years before a new lineup would occur. This debut SOUVENIRS D'UN AUTRE MONDE ("Memories From Another World"), having been released in 2007 which is the year before a new band would emerge, is in effect a solo album by Neige. This is the Neige show where he tackles lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards and drums. There is for a short time one guest vocalist, Audrey Sylvain, on "Sur L'autre Rive Je T'attendrai."

Since SOUVENIRS D'UN AUTRE MONDE is a Neige solo album in disguise, it is of no surprise that it sounds quite different than the albums such as "Écailles De Lune" that follow. While the band has been tagged as shoegaze, blackgaze, post-rock and experimental metal, this debut yields very little in the metal department and is in effect a post-rock album that happens to have a guitar chords that ruffle their feathers to look bigger than they actually are. Like most post-rock, SOUVENIRS relies on a hypnotic run of soft dreamy guitar arpeggios and riffs that ratchet up the tension and ultimately find some sort of crescendo. The overall mood of the album is dark, dripping in nostalgia, rueful regret and euphoric yearning for blissful peace.

It's hard for me to review this album because in all honesty because i find it utterly boring. While this debut has been lauded since ALCEST first hit the scene in the mid naughts, i have had a very difficult time understanding why this clicks with so many and yet leaves me as cold as a whale's ass in the Arctic Ocean. While the future albums are actually quite engaging, this one seems to juxtapose all the wrong elements together in all the wrong places, at least for my tastes. First of all, the vocals are the most annoying of all, sounding like some indie pop twee garage band from small town USA. Despite being tagged metal, there are no metal vocals whatsoever with completely clean vocals dominating the entire album's run.

Secondly, this album chugs along at a snail's pace and never really engages in any dramatic changes. This is a true zone out album if i've ever heard one. While i love post-rock, indie rock, indie pop, post-metal and all the genres this is purported to be, SOUVENIRS is simply mediocre all the way around. It is a lazy breezy type of album that just floats by on codeine with no dramatic passages really ever emerging from the nonchalant drifting through the proper post-rock expectations. Next complaint, the instrumental parts just don't work together for my liking. Neige attempts to deliver black metal attributes such as tremolo picking and guitar solos but performs them so half-assed that it sounds too ridiculous for black metal and likewise sounds too out of character for post-rock.

I can understand some music lover's infatuation with emotional content being enough to make a good album but that is not the case with yours truly. Emotional connections in a pool of mediocrity equals, well, mediocrity. Probably the most competent aspect of SOUVENIRS is the production and mixing job. I do have to admit that the atmospheric qualities work quite well and indeed in retrospect ALCEST was one of the big players that brought the term blackgaze into existence with their debut EP "Le Secret," however Neige got all wimpy with the black metal aspects without jettisoning them all together which creates a rather tenuous vacuous tinniness within the overall structure of the compositions. Well, i'm glad some people can find pleasure in this debut by ALCEST because i sure can't, but i'm all on board starting with the second album.

ALCEST Kodama

Album · 2016 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Although I liked Alcest's first two albums and considered their particular take on the "Blackgaze" style of black metal/shoegaze mashup to be quite pleasing, their third album Les voyages de l'âme seemed to find the approach wearing thin, Neige and crew seeming to lose interest in the black metal part of their formula. Their fourth album, Shelter, only served to confirm that impression in my eyes, since it saw them more or less entirely drop the black metal aspects of their sound for a more purely shoegaze approach.

However, perhaps just this sort of diversion was needed to allow Alcest to recharge their black metal batteries, because the full blackgaze style is back on Kodama, a concept album inspired by the conflict between the human and natural worlds as depicted in the classic anime movie Princess Mononoke. The concept isn't as awkward a fit for atmospheric black metal as you may think - after all, aren't Wolves In the Throne Room positively obsessed with just such ideas? - and though the delivery doesn't seem to draw very much on traditional Japanese music (or anime soundtracks) stylistically, it does feel like a welcome return to form for Alcest, and perhaps even their best yet. If the previous two albums were a necessary detour along the way to making this one, then this leaves me slightly better-disposed towards them.

ALCEST Shelter

Album · 2014 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
I'd found the previous Alcest number, "Les voyages de l'âme", to be rather disappointing, but in retrospect it's clear that it was a transitional release which suffered from Alcest's increasing disinterest in the metal half of its black metal/shoegaze fusion. Here, the problem is solved by Alcest abandoning metal altogether, yielding a pure shoegaze release which manages to turn in a decent but not revolutionary performance in that genre. Metal fans will find little to love here, shoegaze fans will have heard this all before, and if you're one of those who feels really excited about the aesthetic possibilities of blackgaze, you'll probably find this a deeply unambitious release.

ALCEST Shelter

Album · 2014 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Primeval Scum
Some really beautiful stuff from Neige yet again

A lot of people are criticizing Shelter for being "boring" or are simply disappointed about the lack of metal. What many of you fail to realize is that the black metal influence was never what made Alcest special. Neige has a unique gift for crafting dreamy, majestic soundscapes and melodies that caress your soul. Shelter is no exception. All traces of metal are absent, but that same essential Alcest spirit is still there. As such, I have no qualms about the direction the band is taking.

This is a very soothing album, one you can get lost in. Perfect music to listen to in bed at night before you recede into dreamland. Granted, there are a few filler tracks and a bit of saminess in the middle (accounting for the 3.5 score) but there are also several songs that Alcest has knocked out of the park.

The special-edition bonus track "Into the Waves" was my favorite of the new songs. It's a shame that many people don't even know it exists. It has a sound unlike any other on the album, so look this song up if you missed it the first time around.

Favorites: Opale, La nuit marche avec moi, Away, Into the Waves

ALCEST Shelter

Album · 2014 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Gallifrey
No Exit

It was always going to come to this.

When you are the forefront of a genre, you can imagine the difficulty when you inevitably get tired of what you’ve created. Historical examples come in plenty, either an artist keeps plugging away at the same thing, most of the time missing the point, although occasionally getting some good material in, or the artist will completely leave behind the style, maybe start a new band in a different genre, or just take a complete tangent to the it, alienating fans, but also creating new ones. I could take the example of a band like Marillion, who more or less invented Neo-Prog, leaving the style in the dust after just four records, because I think they felt it was getting dry already. And then their counterparts, IQ, who stuck with the style for their whole career, knocking away at getting it right, but never quite getting the same as the beginning (of course, for the sake of analogy, I’ll ignore Frequency, which is obviously their best).

So Neige, frontrunner of this ‘Blackgaze’ genre that’s been coming up for a while, has finally decided to leave it behind, with the fourth full-length album of Alcest, his main band, Shelter. It wasn’t hard to see this coming, Les voyages de l'âme was more or less a dark Shoegaze album with a couple of blast beats and screaming parts, and mapping the natural progressions of musicians normally show them creating full albums based on small elements introduced in previous records. Hopefully this means the next Alcest album will be entirely in English sung by Neil Halstead…

Neige has little tricks that he uses, throughout all of the Alcest releases, an even over into his other bands, like Lantlôs and Amesoeurs. You’ll know the delay-ridden acoustic guitar, the low rumble of what is often a loop of Neige singing a single note, the slightly jangly chord sound that often comes in after the aforementioned acoustic/delay part. Theory people will know the diminished chords and the resolutions on V and IV, just the little things that remind us of who’s composing. But what Neige has done with Shelter, by cutting off any remnants of their metal past, black metal or not, he has essentially cut his list of tricks in two. Gone are the blast beats, the fantastic screams. Gone are the reverb-drenched overdrive riffs that pack such a punch to this dreamy music. And although I’m trying not to sound like a disgruntled metalhead who wants it to be br00tal, it means that this album is mostly one-sided.

And sure, you could argue that dropping the heaviness could open Neige up to new sounds, but honestly, this is just everything on the previous records, but without the metal. Sure, the addition of the string parts is new, but that just piles on the dreaminess even more until it becomes Valtari-levels of ambience. This album is more or less the same thing start to finish in terms of mood and atmosphere.

But as much as this is a change from the Alcest I love, this is still a great record. It’s slow, I’ll admit, but once you give it a few listens, even the tiny little melodies that each track develops become glorious. Alcest have always been about emotion, in all of their albums, and Shelter is no different. Except, unlike Écailles de lune, this isn’t a depressing album that you want to listen to alone in a darkened room and cry about. This is an uplifting record, euphoric even. The same level of emotional saturation that Alcest have had is still there, but it’s focused on happy emotions. Glory, peace, dreams, aspirations, the haze isn’t a cover over darkened emotions anymore, it’s a positive haze, like staring at the sun…

Oh yeah, I’m trying hard not to mention a certain big deal with a pink cover that people are inevitably going to compare this to, but it’s just too obvious. Alcest have gone happy, the cover is a blurry picture of the sun with people covering it. It’ll be hard to avoid mentioning the words sun, bat, and her. But in my honest opinion, Sunbather wasn’t a happy record, at least not like Shelter is. People are inevitably going to say that Alcest are copying, or bandwagoning with, Deafheaven, with the concept and idea behind this album, so I feel we need to mention the fact that Deafheaven wouldn’t exist without Alcest. Moving on…

I’ve a had a huge case of the lead single effect with "Opale", a track that I didn’t think much of when its video was released, but now can’t get enough of. The lead hook, the atmospheric aaahs and oohs that the album opens with in “Wings” may be insanely simple, but somehow Neige creates a beautifully uplifting atmosphere with such a simple motif, which is more or less the essence of Alcest’s music. The same thing happens in “Voix Sereines”, another of my favourite tracks, with that simple little motif that even a child could think of, but Neige uses his voice and his pedalboard to bring it to utter glory. But I have to comment on the lead riff of “Opale”, which I’m still not convinced on. It just feels slightly off. I really like the notes and the progression, but the rhythm is weird and off-putting, somehow sounding like it’s in an odd signature when it’s really in straight 4/4. I thought that it would grow on me and I would get used to it, but it still bugs me 10 listens later.

The other highlight track here is obviously going to be “Away”, Alcest’s first English song, featuring Slowdive singer Neil Halstead. On my first listen to Shelter, I have to admit that it got a bit boring, as pleasant and pretty as it was. The songs just mix into a haze of ambient vocals and delay and reverb and (new on this record) strings. But then Away comes, with Neil’s rather regular vocal delivery, speaking in English. Now, I have to admit my lack of education that, despite knowing about them for years, I have never actually listened to Slowdive (although I know exactly what I’m doing when this review is done), but the match of this simple voice with Alcest’s dreamy instrumentation is nearly perfect. Neige’s distant background vocals lift up the chorus to great heights, and with this song situated right around the point when you start to get bored of the same sound, it’s nearly perfect in reminding you that Alcest are still moving forward.

Although I enjoy this record, I feel in terms of the sheer number of great riffs and motifs throughout Écailles De Lune and Les Voyages, this is always going to pale in comparison. The mood of the music is new and fresh and wonderful for Alcest, but I think in terms of the quantity of riffs that I say are amazing, this isn’t their best. And I think, honestly, that’s the only reason that I believe this is the weakest Alcest album yet, simply because of the quantity of great ideas. I love it, but taking the perspective of others, I can see how many who are not Alcest fanboys may find this ‘boring’. I really hope Neige continues the happier mood onto further albums, but he really should develop some more great melodies to base the atmosphere on. Like the final track, 10-minute “Délivrance”. Ever since “Eccailes De Lune”, the idea of a 10-minute Alcest track has been in the minds of everyone, wanting another thundering epic. But Délivrance just sort of meanders, holding together its main theme in waves of ambience. It’s pleasant music, but the fact that the 9 minutes of “Eccailes De Lune Part I” had more riffs than half of this album really shows how drawn out these pieces are becoming.

Shelter may not be a perfect record. It lacks the sheer quantity of great riffs and melodies that the past Alcest albums had, but I’m definitely loving the happier side. Allegedly this is the first Alcest record where Neige has stopped writing about his ‘experience’ (what it exactly is is still unclear), when he was a child, representing a moving forward of Alcest’s music into something new. Even though I think that Les Voyages is their best record, I could definitely see where people were coming from when they said it was trying to recreate past glory, and Shelter is most certainly a big step forward. It does get a bit empty sometimes, and a few of the songs, for a significant amount of time, are just pleasant ambience, but Opale and Away are definitely amongst Alcest’s best tracks.

7.7/10

Originally written for my Facebook page/blog: www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

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