Les Voyages de l'Âme



by letsgofishing USER (33 Reviews)
January 9th, 2012 | 12 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Alcest is a difficult artist to classify, because it is evident what he is supposed to be classified as, one as the leading pioneers in France’s black metal scene, but what he should now be classified as is something different entirely, he sounds about as metal as Eminem sounds child-friendly. It’s not surprising that Alcest would leave the shackles of his metal genre to explore more fertile grounds, most metal bands get to the point where they either simmer and calm down, or get trapped in a stagnant habitual purgatory, but very few bands approach the metamorphosis as enthusiastically as Alcest.

The result is an album that displays an artist as comfortable with its sounds as he’s ever been. Les Voyages de l’Âme, Alcest’s newest record, translates into the title “Journey Of The Soul”, and the title is shockingly appropriate. The album consists entirely of long metaphysical escapades that soon descend into a climax of narcotic haze, and simply said, invites the listener to get lost in all of it. This is nothing entirely new for Alcest; this is a style of music he has been perfecting for the last several years. What is new is the increased sense of melody that worms its way into the record. The old metal influence is increasingly abandoned throughout the record, and in its place is a rigorous exploration of post-rock and shoe gaze. The melodious elements that come into effect are not only ethereal; they can also be described as beautiful.

It’s a direction that might make metal purists eat their heart out, but it’s a welcome change to a genre that has been growing increasingly stale. Unfortunately, Les Voyages de l'Âme gets most of its influences from post rock, which ultimately means that it inherits the genres flaws as well. The songs often edge on being predictable, often starting with a simple melody and building upon it until it reaches a graceful crescendo. It’s a tried and true formula, but it has been so tried in the last decade, that the album can’t help but feel a rehash of what has been heard time and time again.

Also, with such a hazy and lucid approach, many songs just cease to be memorable. This is no problem for a song as “Faiseurs de Mondes” which features an ingenious and riveting conclusion which is as experimental as it is powerful, but it is an evidently massive problem for the track that follows shortly after, “Summers Glory”, a slightly above-standard affair that sinks into near oblivion in comparison.

In the end, Les Voyages de l’Âme (pardon my French) is a blissful work that displays its strengths as proudly as its weaknesses. In the grand scheme of things, although the music its skillfully done, it is nothing new, bold, or defining, but for an artist who was never supposed to dive into these waters to begin with, it can’t help but feel rejuvenating, and even greater then that, inspiring.

Recent reviews by this author
TV on the Radio SeedsThe Antlers Familiars
John Mark McMillan BorderlandManchester Orchestra Cope
Sigur Ros KveikurLinkin Park Living Things
user ratings (838)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Kyle Ward EMERITUS (3.5)
    Neige displays a certain je ne sais quoi that makes him succeed where others fail...

    DarkNoctus (4)
    and neige sounds like an angel as always....

    eyesofapocalypse (4)
    This is a beautiful voyage, yes - but also a simple one....

    rmill3r (2)
    Alcest's Neige hits a big roadblock by overlooking roadblocks altogether. Where's the pass...

  • SgtShock (3.5)
    2012 is looking to be a good year for music, as Alcest starts things off by releasing an i...

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 9th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Oh hellos people (see, I added an "s" to hello and now it's all informal and shit.)

This here review is pretty good, not as great as the work of art that Darknoctus wrote, hat off to that guy. (it would be hats off, but I'm only wearing one hat.)

Will start reviewing more often, so everyone can be really really happy, and start living life again.

All criticisms will be laughed off in a display of vain and slightly-inaccurate superiority.

that's all folks.

January 9th 2012


Definitely well-written, and would Pos.....but holy run on sentences and lack of semi-colons bro. Sorry if you're upset over the crit.

January 9th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Dreadfully upset. Feel guilty.

January 9th 2012


Album Rating: 1.5

You obviously seem to like the artist, but I like that you don't just harp on how amazing you think it is. The section about post-rock and shoegaze flaws keeps good reviews from sounding like fandom.

Makes me think of EITS's Take Care, Take Care, Take Care . . . it's everything that's good about post-rock, but that's basically the problem. How are they pushing the genre?

January 9th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, I rather like you.

January 9th 2012



January 9th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

more info please Slaughterdozer, negs can be awesome, but only if you tell me why you negged..if you don't, then neg is pretty useless, and I will call all sorts of terrible things behind your back. (presuming that you negged of course. If not...please ignore)

Really, I might be a sarcastic smartass, but I do greatly appreciate criticism.

January 9th 2012


Not sure why this was neg'd. I liked this review.

January 9th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man, isn't my best work, so I can understand the criticism.

January 10th 2012


You seem to have a problem with run on sentences (I have exactly the same problem) but other than that this is really well written. Have a pos.

Digging: Summoning - With Doom We Come

January 10th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

lol, I'm so witty.

Thanks tyraelxy. I'll make sure to cut them down.

January 11th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This here review is pretty good, not as great as the work of art that Darknoctus wrote, hat off to that guy. (it would be hats off, but I'm only wearing one hat.)

goodness you're too kind!! thank you! [:

i like your review too!! :]

Digging: Aetherian - The Untamed Wilderness

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy