Review 2261 : Alcest – Les chants de l’aurore – English

Day 2 - 3 - Alcest

Alcest is the perfect companion for the beginning of summer.

Created in 1999 by Neige (ex-Amesoeurs, ex-Lantlôs…), then completed by drummer Winterhalter (ex-Amesoeurs, ex-Les Discrets), the band unveils Les chants de l’aurore, its seventh album, in 2024 on Nuclear Blast.

Indria and Zero respectively play bass and guitar live.

The album gets off to a very gradual start with Komorebi, an awe-inspiring track that naturally draws us into the contemplation of the music, aided by ethereal vocal parts. The background’s blast fuels the track’s contrast, but the sound quickly turns darker with L’Envol, a composition that is more suffocating than the previous one, but which once again plays with superb crystalline harmonics, as on this long, haunting break that leads to the album’s first screams, and then to a soaring outro. The heavy saturated approach returns with Améthyste, where howls and clean vocals skilfully complement each other, but we feel that darkness is gaining ground on this track, because despite the vaporous, soothing break, it’s saturation that accompanies us until Flamme Jumelle, where the luminous tones return in force. Rare eruptions of violence occasionally disrupt the tranquil path, before we return to serenity with Réminiscence, a short track where keyboards and backing vocals lull us to sleep for a while. Japanese musician Haruna Nakaie offers us a few words to introduce L’Enfant de la Lune, then accompanies the duo in their new-found fury with her viola da gamba, which creates diversity in the riffs and gives them a whole new color, until sizzling sounds put an end to them. To close the album, the band has chosen to offer us their interpretation of Guillaume Apollinaire‘s poem L’Adieu, to which they first give a pure melancholic sound made up of a few flying notes, joined by a hint of saturation and choruses, before finally fading away into the distance.

Alcest has always sailed between influences, forging an inimitable identity that gives Les chants de l’aurore its hazy and almost unreal touch. This album is a veritable hymn to calm and contemplation, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.


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