It's been two years since post-black metal band Alcest released Shelter, a distinct shoegaze meets post-black album – something called blackgaze.
Now, the French have returned with Kodama – and with that, the depth, emotional despair, and spaced-out feeling that are key to the sound of Alcest.
With minimalist open parts, and deeper, more driven faster parts, Kodama is a varied album. The title track “Kodama” is almost 10 minutes long, but is a masterpiece of layering influences. Heck, it even manages to pull some stadium rock feeling into it. The other noteworthy track on Kodama is “Oiseaux de Proie”, with its melancholic vocals that range from plaintive to screams, and instrumentation that goes from wide open parts to blast beats.
In short: Alcest are creative masterminds, and they have proven again with Kodama that their blackgaze sound covers a wide range of emotions, holding true to the despair of Neige's black metal roots, yet mixing in the openness of shoegaze.
Je Suis d'Ailleurs
Oiseaux de Proie
Label: Prophecy Records