Alcest - Les Voyages De L'âme review


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Band: Alcest
Album: Les Voyages De L'âme
Release date: January 2012

01. Autre Temps
02. Là Où Naissent Les Couleurs Nouvelles
03. Les Voyages De L'âme
04. Nous Sommes L'emeraude
05. Beings Of Light
06. Faiseurs De Mondes
07. Havens
08. Summer's Glory

Over the course of the past few years, Neige has been not-so-quietly making a name for himself in the black metal scene, working his way through the likes of Mortifera and Peste Noire before contributing to - perhaps - his first real "experiment": Amesoeurs. An experiment that ended in name only...

With Alcest, Neige has been slowly incorporating more shoegaze elements into the mix with the passing of time. Écailles de lune made quite a few ripples in the black metal scene with its ethereal beauty and soothing tenderness, leading to this, Neige's most tranquil release to date.

Les voyages de l'âme is, quite simply, a shoegaze-oriented album with very few black metal elements, focusing almost entirely on extravagance and folkloric adventure, a journey through Neverland with faeries and woodland creatures singing along in tune to sweeping guitars and fragile drum work. The dreamy aspect is not only kept intact this time around, but strengthened with the fuzzy production typical of an Alcest release. The melodies draw out more and seem to take their own adventures into enchanted forests and crystalline springs before working their way back towards the songs conclude.

Neige's clean vocals tie into the majestic picture, painting waves that step upon water, flowers that dance in merriment, elves and sprites among thousands of acres of eternal great oaks. Consider him the Peter Pan of metal. All of that, of course, is only accentuated by the sparsity of his abstracted howling shrieks and the return of ethereal female choir-like lullabies in the background... the Tinkerbell to Neige's own alter-ego.

It all seems to be a matter of perfection...

Once you poke the walls of this grandiose delusion, however, you will find they too ripple like the waves Neige created a few short years ago. There is little by way of actual content; the atmosphere feels synthetic, much like food conjured by magic having no taste. The apple appears without a mark: perfect, shining, juicy. Yet, upon biting into what looks like flawless fruit, one is left utterly disappointed at the complete lack of flavor. There are no bursting effects within these songs because there is no substance. Unfortunately what the world is left with is but a hollow tone, pretty on the outside... and completely empty within its sparkling shell.

Overlooking the lack of soul that comes with illusory sensations, there is still the traditional Alcestian beauty one would come to expect from a man of Neige's mindset, and that does indeed count for something. For great escapes into mystical lands and whimsical dreams that allow you to fly into the hearts of the universe's farthest-reaching stars, Les voyages de l'âme makes for some divine psychotropic inspiration. In the hands of someone more rational, someone without that childlike sense of wonder, someone unable to unlock the secrets of the pixie dust... this album will likely fall on deaf ears.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Written on 05.01.2012 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.

Comments page 4 / 4

Comments: 93   Visited by: 531 users
07.03.2012 - 17:50
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.03.2012 at 05:04

There was someone commenting in this thread a while back saying I should've listened to it more and I said I would, posting my opinion after doing so to see if it had changed.

After like... two months, I'd actually probably drop it to a 7.3.

Interesting. Because repeated listens actually made me less disappointed in this, in fact, this album quite grew on me.

Well, dur w/e, welcome back .
11.03.2012 - 15:38
Written by Mr. Doctor on 19.02.2012 at 16:38

The latest version of Le Secret has the best booklet imo. SPECIALLY the digibook version which I honestly think it's gorgeous, many beautiful pics. Some pages about Niege talking about the formation of the band and about the EP, the lyrics AND translations of those two songs. Good stuff.

Le Secret just arrived to the store I have ordered it from a while ago. The digibook version was not in the registry for w/e reason but I decided to just get the EP itself anyways since I cba running after it even more.

As it appears, the booklet you describe is in the normal version too, not just the digibook. Dunno what's more in the digibook then though but this booklet was damn gorgeous (and definitely much 'more' than the one in Les Voyages...).
11.03.2012 - 15:42
Mr. Doctor
Written by Uldreth on 11.03.2012 at 15:38
As it appears, the booklet you describe is in the normal version too, not just the digibook. Dunno what's more in the digibook then though but this booklet was damn gorgeous (and definitely much 'more' than the one in Les Voyages...).

The digibook is just cooler because it looks like a book but that's about it I guess.

Like this:
The little box on the left is just some sort of slipcase.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.

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