Alcest
Shelter


4.5
superb

Review

by decoyoctopus USER (5 Reviews)
January 18th, 2014 | 32 replies | 1,316 views


Release Date: 01/21/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The soundtrack to a daydream.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

While I am not certain if an actual narrative exists within Alcest's newest album, 'Shelter', there certainly exists a progression of musical ideas that allow the listener to create their own story. I am reluctant to say that this album does in fact have a narrative, as there are no clear characters nor a clear setting for that matter; but there does exist a musical beginning and a clear conclusion. Our mind cannot help but create a story to accompany this rich and evocative album, as it is crafted and organized in such a way to deliver sequential emotions that we as listeners will necessarily pair with vivid mental imagery. The essence of 'Shelter' is very luminescent, airy, dream-like and surreal - as is most music within the shoe-gaze, dream-pop, and post-rock classifications. 'Shelter' is atmospheric, timid, patient, soft, and most importantly, it cooperates with our imaginations to construct scenery and scope.

We are taken upon a sonic journey that clearly begins with the angelic and heavenly intro and opening track, 'Wings' and 'Opale'. The super-melodic 'La nuit marce avec moi' expands upon our environment and adds depth and dimension to 'Shelter' by combining deep atmosphere with simple melody. On 'Voix Sereines' we experience the first instance of real, visceral weight on this otherwise quaint, airy, and seemingly weightless album. Stéphane Paut's high register vocals at the beginning of this track are very akin to that of Jónsi Birgisson's vocal style from Icelandic post-rock band, Sigur Rós. In many ways, 'Shelter' manages to present an atmosphere similar to what we might expect from a Sigur Rós album. It is on 'Voix Sereines' that the album really begins to rock, and the peaceful, warm, timeless paradise that is presented on the first few tracks of 'Shelter' progresses and transforms into a more turbulent and volatile musical setting, making this a stand-out track. Stéphane Paut's baritone vocals on 'Away' demonstrate his diverse vocal capability. It is semi-relevant to keep in mind that Alcest's roots lie in black metal, and this is a vocalist who once utilized guttural growls and shrill shrieks, but has adequately mastered clean and melodic vocals. I say 'semi-relevant' only because all aspects of black metal have been entirely stripped from this album. 'Shelter' is not a black-gaze album in any possible sense of the term. 'Away' is museful and reflective – a fleeting glance back upon our musical journey thus far through the dream-state paradise painted by Alcest's 'Shelter'.

Our album closer, 'Delivrance', is a beautiful and triumphant victory anthem – entirely deserving of its name. It is the soundtrack to a clear and conclusive victory over trial, tribulation, and adversity; utilizing a slow and climactic build up to culminate the entire range of emotions we as listeners have experienced while taking this musical journey as mapped before us by Alcest. If 'Voix Sereines' and 'L'Eveil des Muses' represent the conflict of this album's narrative, then 'Delivrance' is surely the successful reconciliation of this conflict. 'Shelter' as an album is rich and emotive, unforgivingly bright and dreamy. It is the perfect piece of musical composition for the disassociative mind to drift away to with outstanding tracks such as 'Voix Sereines', 'L'Eveil des muses', and 'Delivrance'.


user ratings (400)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
zaruyache
January 17th 2014



6268 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

No no no no no no no no no no no no

Digging: CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

decoyoctopus
January 17th 2014



103 Comments


No to album or no to review?

Wizard
January 17th 2014



19336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The soundtrack to a daydream

I typically do this when I'm bored so it fits Alcest perfectly.

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

KILL
January 17th 2014



71454 Comments


bababababababaBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

CK
January 18th 2014



4910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I feel like if another band released this same exact record people wouldn't be such pussies about it

zxlkho
January 18th 2014



3461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yes

CK
January 18th 2014



4910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

+20 for Toothless

avonbarksdale221
January 18th 2014



8222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ck bringing the truth

someguest
January 18th 2014



20393 Comments


good album that I imagine will turn great once spring starts to roll around again

JS19
January 18th 2014



4219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

3 reviews and 146 ratings and it's not even out yet. Glad to see people aren't rating after 1 listen wait

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

jmnewcomer18
January 18th 2014



3408 Comments


is isn't that good tbh

wwf
January 18th 2014



608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I never really got the big deal about this band/ dude.

minty901
January 18th 2014



1978 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

its been leaked for ages. i love daydreaming to albums.

Wizard
January 18th 2014



19336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I feel like if another band released this same exact record people wouldn't be such pussies about it

Quite the opposite actually. If this was released by another band people would think it's shit, but because it's Neige and he never does any wrong people don't mind listening to him confess how gay he is in audio format.

3 reviews and 146 ratings and it's not even out yet. Glad to see people aren't rating after 1 listen wait

It's been leaked for several weeks now, I've listened to it a bunch of times. Sorry you're just discovering the leak now.

TheSlenderMan
January 18th 2014



606 Comments


My man Karl.

conesmoke
January 18th 2014



5198 Comments


It's kinda better with a cardigan on

CK
January 18th 2014



4910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

JS, it's on Spotify and the label's Youtube page

CK
January 18th 2014



4910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And nah Karl, I feel like people are like "oh, this guy used to release decent pretty heavy music, now he's making vagina pop"

ShitsofRain
January 18th 2014



5865 Comments


daydream nation >

CK
January 18th 2014



4910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well derrr



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