Alcest
Les Voyages De L Ame


2.0
poor

Review

by rmill3r USER (26 Reviews)
January 5th, 2012 | 150 replies | 8,464 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Alcest's Neige hits a big roadblock by overlooking roadblocks altogether. Where's the passion? Where's the disparity? What is he fighting for?

7 of 18 thought this review was well written

The third full-length album released from solo musical project Alcest is possibly the most bland, unimaginative piece of work to come from someone who so endearingly melds the brilliance of post-rock with the raw power of metal. Les Voyages de l’Ame (or The Journeys of the Soul for those of us who didn’t take high school French) is brought to us by a man who goes by the name of Neige. In 2010, he gave us Ecailles de Lune (Scales of the Moon), which blended the ethereal quality of post-rock with the overpowering force of growls and distortion so well that each element seemed to naturally lead into the other. But Les Voyages is long, exhausting post-rock/shoegaze haul, filled with recycled riffs and a mawkish vocal performance.

I’m not one to gripe over labels and whether or not an artist is “sticking” to their genre or not, but for a metal album, Les Voyages feels oddly distant and campy. Layers of space-like, drone-y guitars flood these tracks. You can practically see Neige actually staring at his shoes as he sits there, swaying back and forth playing the guitar. The opening single, “Autre Temps,” portrays this well. Ringing guitars a la Explosions in the Sky eventually give way to a bit more distortion and an incessantly static rhythm. And the “Oohhh’s” and “Aaahh’s” are just the icing on the cake.
The album tends to drag, as though Neige has completely run out of material and decided to play the one song he thought was good for eight tracks straight. But while the title track has much of the same uninventive mix, there is an interesting transition halfway through. The continually layering guitars suddenly pick up speed into bright tremolo picking, not nearly hard enough to be considered metal, but just different enough from post-rock to give you a taste of how well Neige can merge these opposing elements together. Then again, that all eventually falls through the cracks as the same plain rhythm rears its ugly head and Neige’s saccharine vocals ring out like a troubled, whining child gasping for attention.

Somewhere around the fifth and sixth track (“Beings of Light” and “Faisures de Mondes,” respectively) is where the black metal pacing and influences begin to play a slightly more prominent role. The tremolo picking on “Faisures de Mondes” leads into some beautiful melodies, which carry this expansion of sound that nearly suffocates the atmosphere while maintaining a decidedly upbeat and victorious attitude. And although that doesn’t necessarily make the bigger picture any better, it at least gives some variation.

Ultimately, Les Voyages de l’Ame drones on and on in what feels like the soundtrack to an inspirational movie. The production value is certainly high on this album, and it sounds very nice. But that’s exactly the point; it sounds nice. It’s pleasant, it’s pretty, it makes you feel warm once in a while, but any run-of-the-mill post-rock album is going to do the same thing. It just feels as though it’s trying too hard for something that just isn’t paying off. Look at the titles of some of the tracks--“Beings of Light” and “Summer’s Glory”--or the cover of the album--a large peacock? It looks and sounds like its striving for some grand scale (think Anthony Gonzalez making the album he’d remember his whole life), but instead, Les Voyages settles on repetitive riffs and an ambiance that has you wracking your head for an adjective better than “angelic” or “ethereal.” It’s time for Neige to roll up his sleeves and show us that there’s a difference between droning and sounding like a drone.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
seedofnothing
January 5th 2012



3425 Comments


I've listened to about half of this album already and it's not as low as a 1.5, that's rather harsh.

Restrikted
January 5th 2012



1889 Comments


yeah

rmill3r
January 5th 2012



167 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

No it's not. It's the boring B-sides of God is an Astronaut.

Restrikted
January 5th 2012



1889 Comments


TROLL METAL FTW

YUJOS
January 5th 2012



916 Comments


No way a 1.5! This ain't Lulu!!

foxblood
January 5th 2012



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wtf God is an Astronaut sounds nothing like Alcest. I kind of don't get your argument either, Alcest has never been harsh, yet your main argument is that this is too pretty. Alcest has always been pretty

Ending
January 5th 2012



1892 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Strongly disagree with the rating but the review was solid.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2012



16299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

solo black metal project Alcest

Your thinking this is exactly why you don't like this album.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Ire
January 5th 2012



41753 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

maybe coz it sux

feanaro
January 5th 2012



817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Alcest is not a black metal project. This isn't intended to be black metal. Neither was the debut. Neither was Ecailles.

Digging: King Creosote - From Scotland With Love

poorzack
January 5th 2012



80 Comments


whoa

jimmykidd
January 5th 2012



528 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

uh ohh..

rmill3r
January 5th 2012



167 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Alcest has not always been pretty. Alcest was beautiful. Now it's pretty and full of fluff.

Listen to the two minute mark on "Ecailles de Lune, Pt. 2" and tell me he's not intending for black metal. He crafted and blended black metal and post rock excellently before, but now it sounds like recycled sounds.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 5th 2012



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Review is pretty well written, but the fact that this isn't M3TUL does seem to be your only gripe.

someguest
January 5th 2012



20393 Comments


hey guys

my fart doesn't stink so it's not a fart it's just air coming out of my butt

Digging: Your Old Droog - Your Old Droog

feanaro
January 5th 2012



817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I've listened to part 2 countless times. black metal-esque segments do not a black metal album make. this is better than ecailles anyway. it seems like you haven't listened to any alcest outside of that album.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2012



16299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listen to the two minute mark on "Ecailles de Lune, Pt. 2" and tell me he's not intending for black metal.

You're not reviewing Ecailles de Lune. The review makes it seem like you don't really think this album is that bad (it reads like a 2.5) but you are instead pissed off that it doesn't sound as "aggressive" (for lack of a better word) as Ecailles.

rmill3r
January 5th 2012



167 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

@Crysis, no, it's all within context. It's bad considering other Alcest releases. A major disappointment in succession. I'm not reviewing Ecailles, but you CAN'T review something released under the same name, by the same person without referencing and comparing their other work. And it doesn't matter to me whether or not it's "aggressive" at all, as long as it does what it does well.

Ire
January 5th 2012



41753 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

this is kind of a dumb review but i agree with your ratings so pos

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2012



16299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You can compare to other works but in absolutely no way should be you be like "well this isn't like *album x* so therefore
1.5/5". That makes you sound really stupid.



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