ALCEST - ‘Spiritual Instinct’ (2019)

01 November 2019
ALCEST - ‘Spiritual Instinct’ (2019)
  • Лейбъл: Nuclear Blast/Wizard
  • Издаден: 2019
  • Aвтор: Никола Шахпазов
  • Оценка:

Main composer NEIGE describes his new album as "darker than usual, and heavier." Which might be a little misleading as it’s more of a suiting description of the latest MAYHEM release rather than of ALCEST’s.

Indeed, heaviness and aggression are relative here, as ALCEST has never been an extreme or morbid project. And even the speedier black metal influenced passages in ‘Les jardins de minuit’ are unlike any PESTE NOIRE track, for example.
 
What seems to be more important though is NEIGE’s unmistakable approach to music and composition. Straight from the get-go, ‘Spiritual Instinct’ sounds like ALCEST and ALCEST alone. Of course, the somewhat nervous bass lines might remind you of THE CURE, while other parts and passages will surely make you think of THE SMASHING PUMPKINS’ masterpiece ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’ or SLOWDIVE’s ‘Souvlaki’ but this combination of influences (plus a very unique approach to melody and atmosphere) only help establish ALCEST as one-of-a-kind band.
 
Though elements from the ethereal and Springs-cented ‘Souvenirs d'un autre monde’ and the aquatic ‘Les Voyages de l'Âme’ are present here, ‘Spiritual Instinct’ shares lot more similarities with its predecessor ‘Kodama’. Probably thats the reason for the very direct rock’n’roll/metal riff in ‘Protection’ or the polished metallic sheen and black metal screams in the Arnold Böcklin inspired ‘L'île des morts’.
 
But these are only a few of the more notable moments - for ‘Spiritual Instinct’ is heavily layered and multifaceted type of record. And that is ever more evident in long, almost epic tracks like the self-titled one, ‘Sapphire’ and ‘Les jardins de minuit’ - containing so many gorgeous vocals, elevating alt rock guitars and silent, almost introverted shoegaze parts. 
 
Just as usual, NEIGE has delivered an album that is meditative and restless, silent and passionate all at once. ALCEST’s music is still in-between the light and darkness, as harsh reality and a dream-like world of never.

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