Sylvaine
Wistful


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (213 Reviews)
May 16th, 2016 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Meditative Mood Music

I dislike writing reviews that include definitions of what I, personally, feel or think during the listening experience of an album but a little bit of personal input was necessary to convey my thoughts properly when listening to Norwegian soloist, Sylvaine’s, second album.

For ages I just couldn’t get into “Wistful”. Everything was there- the beautiful singing, the transcendent soundscapes: all the tools where laid out to craft an emotional listening experience. But it was like being given the tools yet no instruction manual. After the 4th play I had succumb that the reason behind it was that it is merely a projection of only Sylvaine’s own life, hence why I couldn’t get it. Before reviewing it under the aforesaid opinion, I was struck with some awful news and for some reason I turned to “Wistful”.

Then, it just clicked. As I was wallowing in my own grief, her angelic voice appeared during ‘Delusions’ and I felt soothed almost instantly. From then on, “Wistful” had seized my full attention. Through oceans of gorgeous singing and surreal instrumentation, a blade of light pierces through these dense atmospherics near the half way point where her signing and instrumentation subside to reveal a fragile, resonant guitar tone. As draining as this moment is, it’s her embracing wails that really tug at the heartstrings during ‘Delusions’.

“Wistful” is positively drenched in reflective segments that at first may seem withdrawn but give it due patience and a right frame of mind and it will delicately reveal its sheltered passion. ‘A Ghost Trapped In Limbo’ sounds similar to the content of her debut album “Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart” and captures the sense of desolate soundscapes as melancholy lyrics give way to isolated strums of guitar and back again to comfort repetitive harmonies and the sound of her sorrowful voice. ‘Saudade’ evokes a more tentative feeling with intermittent quivers of percussion but the sharp, glittering notes of guitar seem to keep the mournfulness at bay. The closing title track mirrors the introspection of ‘Delusions’ that makes “Wistful” itself a fulfilling listen. It’s a very dreamy song where Sylvaine graciously lulls us to sleep through echoes of yearning harmonies and stunning wails. Towards the end, a string quartet appears that lays the song, album and listener to a peaceful rest.

The issue with this kind of mesmeric music is that it is so difficult to absorb. “Wistful” is a hard album to get into because it’s so layered with visionary elements. It’s an album that you’ve got to be in a mood for (nothing particular, simply ‘the right mood’) but you’ve just got to feel something to understand this music. Sylvaine also displays her rasping approach of singing during ‘Earthbound’ and ‘In The Wake of Moments Passed By’. The visceral approach is here to enforce the battle between lighter and heavier moments however the instrumentation, courtesy of Neige (Alcest), sounds harsh enough for her to abandon the superfluous screams and focus on her ethereal cleans, which are a clear strong point.

“Wistful” sounds like it contains a reflection of Sylvaine’s personality within it however it’s an album where, if you care to take a deeper glance, you can see parts of yourself inside too.



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user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
aloehrle306
May 16th 2016


1 Comments


First post. Album rules.

InFlamesWeThrash666
May 16th 2016


8889 Comments


Need to jam this again but yeah album is pretty good

Digging: Idle Hands (USA-OR) - Mana

teamster
May 16th 2016


4133 Comments


Very talented musician from Norway. Definetly one of the better blackgaze albums so far this year. Excellent review and thanks.

Digging: Spotlights - Love and Decay

DungeonBoy
May 17th 2016


5994 Comments


Good review, sounded like something I'd dig so I'm listening now. So Neige recorded all of the guitars on this? They are very Neigey riffs.

Digging: D'un Autre Temps - Nos Mmoires

InFlamesWeThrash666
May 17th 2016


8889 Comments


I think he recorded some of the drum tracks not the guitars.

Evreaia
May 17th 2016


5083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review, great album





SowingSeason
Moderator
May 17th 2016


30688 Comments


Album is stunning

Digging: Tyler, the Creator - Igor

Toondude10
May 17th 2016


13844 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

love the artwork



Not normally into this type of genre but I might check this out.

Digging: Rammstein - Rammstein

zaruyache
November 9th 2016


20845 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Bumping 2 jam

Digging: Neckbeard Deathcamp - SO MUCH FOR THE TOLERANT LEFT

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
November 9th 2016


15806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Same here, good review btw, pos'd.

Didn't know Neige did the instrumentation, makes sense, sounds a lot like Alcest. Enjoyable album so far, I would get rid of the screaming though.

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2016


18411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

Album is stunning [2], love the artwork [2]



Delusions, Saudade, and t/t are my favorites on here. I agree that this would be better without the harsh vocals, though a song like Earthbound is strengthened with that amazing outro.

Digging: The National - I Am Easy to Find

zaruyache
November 9th 2016


20845 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

oh wait what'd Neige actually do here?

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2016


18411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

I'm not sure but I would guess the guitars.

lalchimiste
November 11th 2016


1099 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

He played drums on 3 tracks : Delusions, Earthbound and In the Wake of Moments Passing By

Digging: Eucharist - Mirrorworlds

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
November 12th 2016


15806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damn, I would have thought it's him on guitars throughout the whole album.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 12th 2016


18411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

I'm pretty sure he is on guitars, though I can't find anything online that confirms or denies it.

zaruyache
November 12th 2016


20845 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

regardless who performed it, whoever wrote it needs to work on that :3 This felt like it was pretty 100% of the time and "going somewhere" 0% of the time.

RikRoach7
March 26th 2018


3659 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I'm pretty sure he is on guitars, though I can't find anything online that confirms or denies it."



Of course it's possible to find pages online that deny it. Like discogs: https://www.discogs.com/de/Sylvaine-Wistful/release/8481544

Neige played drums on half of the tracks, Sylvaine on the other half. Everything else is her entirely alone.

RogueNine
April 17th 2018


3910 Comments


Love the artwork [3].

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2018


18411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

I remember reading somewhere that Neige did some of the guitars, but since it's in her name she was probably responsible for most everything besides the drums.



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