Alcest
Ecailles De Lune


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
March 24th, 2010 | 1124 replies | 64,615 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Écailles de Lune sees Alcest improve in all the right ways.

Alcest is far from inaccessible. Really, how could records as gorgeous as Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde and Écailles de Lune be anything but? Yet in spite of this, I've had trouble wrapping my mind around both albums. I could probably get away with attributing my difficulty with 2007's Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde to a slight aversion to Alcest's shoegaze inclinations at the time, but there's no excuses now. I love this stuff.

Alcest's sound isn't what made Écailles de Lune difficult; rather, the record opens on a warm, uplifting note which spans the majority for the forty minute record. However, the complexity of the (two-part) title track, which effectively functions as the first half of the album, gives it a depth that is hard to properly appreciate during the first few listens. It's testament to how Alcest, one of multi-instrumentalist Neige's several projects, has matured over the last three years. Where Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde relied on somewhat linear shoegaze, "Écailles de Lune parts I and II" capture a similar atmosphere, while incorporating a variety of different sections and styles at the same time. Although the transition between breezy guitars and heavier, metal parts (and back and forth) sounds clunky and drawn out at first, with repeated listening everything falls into place.

For whatever reason, with "Percées de Lumière" the record becomes a lot easier to listen to. Neige certainly doesn't scale back any of the metal influences; "Percées de Lumière" features some of the most intense guitar work available on Écailles de Lune, accentuated perfectly by Neige's high pitched shrieks. "Solar Song" is by far the most accessible song Écailles de Lune has to offer; Neige drops all semblance of black metal in favour of full-on shoegaze with some of the year's coolest guitar textures. Although it lacks the multi-layered complexity of the title track, which is sure to be a favourite among fans, "Solar Song" better sums up the album's soothing disposition. Really, it isn't only Écailles de Lune's best song; it's by far the finest piece of music Neige has released under the Alcest moniker.

The title track comes close though. But again, it's testament to how much Alcest has improved between Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde and Écailles de Lune. Neige's song writing this time around is much more adept and varied; as result, the record is much more engaging. Mind you, "Solar Song" aside, the album doesn't sink in immediately, but it's a definite grower. And when it does, it's fantastic.



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user ratings (939)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (5)
Euphoria and intensity collide....

Apollo (5)
Neige is a creative genius and propels his one man projects latest effort to stunning brilliance....

BathoryHordes (4)
Neige takes the listener on a musical journey of elegance and beauty....

Zettel (4.5)
"Écailles de Lune" est l'album qu’était esquissé dans des ouvrages antérieurs....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2010



8780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Disagree with the excellent rating, I thought it was lacking - too long to be an EP and too short to be a full length.

Great review though. Title track part 1 is the best song Neige has composed - I don't understand all the hype about Solar Song.

edit: lol nvm

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2010



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review, I agree with everything you said. This is album is miles better than Souvenirs.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Ponton
Emeritus
March 24th 2010



5790 Comments


great review, and I had guessed you might give this a 4. Looking forward to this.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2010



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You'll love it Jared, it really displays perfectly what this band is capable of.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 24th 2010



5790 Comments


I gave a few listens to youtube, and it sounded great. 29th needs to get here sooner

ov420
March 24th 2010



300 Comments


heh heh

BallsToTheWall
March 24th 2010



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

False Crysis. But honestly, I thought Souvenirs was more accessible not to mention boasting stronger songwriting than this. Great review for a pretty good album. A bit underwhelming but consistent.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2010



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was under the impression you liked this more, Balls.

ButcheredChildren
March 24th 2010



5591 Comments


great review and great music, i never heard of these guys and when i looked them up i was pretty stoked with what i heard, kool band

BallsToTheWall
March 24th 2010



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I originally thought so but nothing here reallystruck me as hard as Printemps, Sur Lautre or the title track. Perhaps it's because I like Alcest's metal-less style more.

Poet
March 24th 2010



5922 Comments


I got kinda bored with this the first time listening to it.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2010



15730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

man that first sentence has ridiculous grammar problems

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2010



15011 Comments


staff aint what they used to seem to be

Mikesn
Emeritus
March 24th 2010



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know what you're talking about.

Ire
March 24th 2010



41754 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I dl'd this yesterday. I hope it isn't as average as the last album.

Hawks
March 24th 2010



35562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I need to hear this.

Digging: Sun Worship - Elder Giants

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2010



15730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey alex robertson hoofle doofle

bloozclooz
March 24th 2010



1770 Comments


i don't understand your train of though. first, you say that they are accessible, and that's because they're gorgeous. but then you say that you had trouble wrapping your mind around them. but in the same thought you say that "shoegaze inclinations" kept you from enjoying their earlier albums?

i want to understand what you're saying, but i'm failing at it.

jingledeath
March 24th 2010



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review and album.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
March 24th 2010



3995 Comments


Agreed. Last album was nice but too one-dimensional. The reintroduction of actual BM ideas works well with the whole softee shoegaze business. Haven't listened to this as much as I should considering how much good music is out right now.



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