Alcest
Kodama


4.5
superb

Review

by Ben Kuettel STAFF
October 2nd, 2016 | 1293 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kodama exhibits all the dreamy and engrossing qualities one can expect from Alcest, while progressing their complex sound magnificently.

Creating a fusion genre places a massive spotlight on the band responsible, with frontman and songwriter Neige of Alcest frequently expressing the desire to go his own way. A perfect example of this is the release of Shelter in 2014, sounding like Sigur Ros going mainstream more than anything else. An enjoyable record in its own right, the shedding of all metal elements worked. However, Kodama is a darker, more urgent affair; Japanese folklore and the dream world of Neige's youth collide in a euphoric odyssey, casting aside genre labels and harnessing a more sophisticated sound than the typical dynamic motifs one hears in the genre of "blackgaze." Sweeping post-rock atmospheres fused with intense metal soundscapes is what Alcest do best, and make for the sheer power exhibited within album epics “Eclosion,” “Je Suis D’ailleurs," and “Oiseaux de proie,” all taking a multitude of avenues and frequently building to a swirling blend of chaotic musical beauty.

The softer sides of Alcest emphasized in Shelter play a role in Kodama, with surreal album closer “Onyx” giving the feeling of sinking underwater. The meandering bonus track “Notre sang et nos penséesas” extends the album's falling action even further. Strange endings, these quieter sides of the band also explored in “Untouched” and the heavenly title track further the spiritual qualities that Neige has always exhibited with Alcest. These otherworldly traits lie in the more dynamic epics as well, with multicolored waterfalls of sound hearkening to the dizzying atmospheres and intense crescendos of magnum opus Écailles de Lune. For the first time, Kodama rivals Neige's greatest creation for his most focused and cinematic effort yet. He is still going his own way to outstanding effect, plunging into the familiarly dreamy, yet abstract and complex musical explorations he has always excelled in. Continuing to dominate the fusing of musical styles he unintentionally started, the punchy yet gorgeous qualities of Kodama sees an impressive balance of contrasts, darker and more purposeful than Shelter while evolving triumphantly.




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user ratings (575)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
Kodama delivers on all accounts, existing as one of Alcest's most emotionally powerful albums to dat...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2016


15754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks to JohnnyOnTheSpot for proofreading

Digging: Steven Wilson - To the Bone

dbizzles
October 2nd 2016


8932 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review, but short. Instant Classic.

FullOfSounds
October 2nd 2016


15334 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nice man

ashcrash9
October 2nd 2016


2485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

whoa since when could staff embed Bandcamp? I thought that was Soundcloud only, this changes things.



some quick spelling corrections; the musician is Neige, not Niege, and the third track is just "Je Suis D'ailleurs," not "“Je Suis D’ailleursand.”

ashcrash9
October 2nd 2016


2485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

also not sure why the second track is often listed around without the accent - my limited knowledge of French tells me "Eclosion" is not a word, "Éclosion" is, but that's minor and so many sites have spelled it without the accent that who the fuck cares



nice review, man

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2016


15754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks guys, I tried to be more succinct this time.

beefshoes
October 2nd 2016


6824 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

@ashcraft9 I speak French, and it's Éclosion. The accent aigu isn't listed on the CD either though, so its lack of usage was intentional.



Great review, and I'm very glad to see this get so much love.

LordePots
October 2nd 2016


37259 Comments


its a shame how awesome that album art is, what a waste

Digging: Hikrahe - Fear of the Drum and the Red Robe Son

Ashen
October 2nd 2016


1392 Comments


i liked some of their early stuff but no way this is a 4.5

Digging: Misled Children - Peoples Market

Flugmorph
October 2nd 2016


16425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ye ye jackass

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2016


15754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks Beef me too, and yea Alcest always has sick album art.

cryptologous
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2016


1584 Comments


never been big on this band but this is gorgeous.

LordePots
October 2nd 2016


37259 Comments


"Thanks Beef me too, and yea Alcest always has sick album art."

this is literally their only good one

ashcrash9
October 2nd 2016


2485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"no way this is a 4.5"

shit, you got me, it's a 4.2, I'm just hyping it up



"this is literally their only good [album art]"

nah, everything from Écailles onward has pretty good art

BigPleb
October 2nd 2016


50573 Comments


Does this bleep n bloop?

Digging: Cradle of Filth - Cryptoriana ? The Seductiveness of Decay

ashcrash9
October 2nd 2016


2485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

damn, if Voyages is one of the worst album covers you've ever seen, I envy your lack of exposure to terrible album covers lol

Maco097
October 2nd 2016


2322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's not terrible but it's not good also, stop overrating that cover.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2016


15754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Souvenirs and Shelter covers are cool but nothing amazing, this and Voyages are fantastic, and Ecailles is one of my all time favorite album covers.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2016


2424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is def their best in years. Shelter had a few good songs on it, but my god was it boring.

Maco097
October 2nd 2016


2322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Deserve what



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