Sylvaine - Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone review


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Band: Sylvaine
Album: Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone
Release date: November 2018

01. Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone
02. Mørklagt
03. Abeyance
04. Worlds Collide
05. Severance
06. L'Appel Du Vide

So they applied rule 63 to Neige.

Sylvaine is the stage name of one Kathrine Shepard, a Norwegian metalgaze artist, who, like most metalgaze artists, has some sort of link to Alcest. Stéphane Paut aka Neige has been helping produce and performing drums on her albums ever since her sophomore album, Wistful, and he was part of her live band as well. She also did some vocals on Alcest's Kodama, so she and Neige seem to be quite close both professionally and musically. This is the case on Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone as well.

Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone, while extremely close to Alcest's sound, is still a tad distinct. Most moments wouldn't feel out of place on an Alcest record, but Sylvaine's music especially on this record dives deeper into the blissful part of shoegaze. Her harsh vocals are featured much less than on the previous albums, where they did feel like they needed a bit of polish, so here when they are used, they feel a bit more impactful. Most of the record features her cleans, which are the highlight of this record, but I'd have to give credit to the drum performance by Neige and Stephan Shepard (Katherine's father) as well.

The songwriting does feel a bit odd at points. I'm sure part of it is due to my mind immediately thinking, "This is Alcest", so when it doesn't sound exactly as good as that, it's odd. Mostly because Sylvaine still needs a bit of work in the atmosphere-building part of the music, where often some parts feel like they drag on for too long without actively building up to anything. This isn't to say that the music isn't at all immersive - it is most of the time - but my favorite moments are still the ones where it doesn't sound like something I'd expect, like the thick bass line and the weird synths throughout songs like "Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone" or "L'Appel Du Vide".

The music on Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone is patient and restrained, sometimes too much so, and it sounds a lot like another, albeit brilliant, band. Despite its flaws, it's still a healthy dose of bliss and a very emotional and ethereal album.


Written on 16.12.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 97 users
16.12.2018 - 16:52
Au Pays Natal
This is the most unambiguous Alcest ripoff I've ever heard. So blatant too, for all the reasons you mentioned. But I do like it and it will hold me over until the new Lantlos record. Excellent review and thanks.

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