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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alcest-Ecailles De Lune(2010)



Believe it or not, I have had some complaints about me covering and reviewing Metal and Avant-Garde Cd titles. If you have followed the blog from the beginning, I have always stated that it will NOT just be about Horror Movies. Yes, I live and breathe horror movies, but I also love music just as much. I guess the "internet horde" would call me a "hipster", because I love so many kinds of music. When I grew up it was cool and very accepted to have a wide palette in regards to music. I never wanted to stick to one kind of music, that would be like eating carrots for every meal. Now on to the CD, this is the 4th release from France's Alcest. I will refrain from calling Alcest any genre, because they have a very wide scope of sound, and have experimented quite alot. The first release, Les Secret, was a 2 song EP, that was very Black Metal. Although being planted in that genre in the beginning, they were already experimenting with song structure, and atmosphere. The next release was a split CD with fellow countrymen Les Discrets. This continued in the same vein, but Neige's vocals began crooning along with the metal backing it. The metalheads starting crying "sell-out" as they always do. The first full length CD, Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde came out, and I fell in love! Although they retained the metal framework, the vocals, now male and female, were sang beautifully, and there was no Metal growling to be found. They sounded like a Metal version of Cocteau Twins and Slowdive, and I loved every minute of it. At this stage, they gained a new group of fans, mostly indie kids brave enough to search out something different. Surprisingly, a lot of Metal fans really loved it, although they really wished they would return to a more Black Metal sound again.

That brings us to the brand new release, Ecailles De Lune, and metalheads around the world can rejoice.....the growling is back(at least on half of the record). I must say that I like the record alot, but I am probably the only fan that wishes the band would have continued in their new "metalgaze" direction. The only thing I can think of is that Neige is trying to satiate both groups of fans. The music is still in the vein of Souvenirs, but a bit more hard edged. The vocals, as I mentioned are primarily growled like the Les Secret EP, although a few of the tracks have Neige's signature crooning. Since he sings in French, I haven't been able to tell if he uses the "glossiola" singing like the first record. This was a method created by Liz Frasier of Cocteau Twins, and also used by Sigur Ros, where the sing phonetically, and not using real words. I find experimentation like that brilliant. There are 6 songs on Ecailles, 5 really long songs, averaging about 8 mins a piece, and one short interlude. I am hoping that it grows on me a bit more, I have only been spinning it about a week now, but right now, it's not as good as Souvenirs. Again,I am probably in the minority in thinking that. If you have an open mind, like metal, and aren't afraid of some experimentation, Alcest might be your cup o' tea.

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