Friday, July 30, 2010

Alcest: Écailles de Lune (2010) Review

And the post-metal honeymoon phase is over again.

Alcest is a French band which started out in black metal, but has moved to a post-metal/post-rock sound. Since I recently reviewed Altar of Plagues, I thought I'd check out the other post-black metal band out there.

I kept hoping for a little more black metal in this, but there is almost no metal to be found at all. Post-rock is the best way to describe this, though "Écailles de Lune - Part 2" and "Percées de lumière" are both good tracks with metal elements.

Trying to judge it on its own terms is difficult, because I keep wanting to treat it as a metal album. It is hauntingly beautiful, with a melancholy sound. I don't know whether it's all the moon imagery which brings that word to mind or not. It gives the feeling of cold sadness, with too much hidden hope and self-pity to be truly dark, the way My Dying Bride is.

Judging it as a whole, it's a decent enough listen, but I think I'd have to be really in the right mood for it. I can see how good it is--and it's very good--it's just not my kind of music. I think I'll just stick with Altar of Plagues, thank you.

The Verdict: If you're into sad music and shoegaze, or maybe you're a goth with better taste in music than goths tend to have, Écailles de Lune will be right up your alley. For me, it was OK. I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

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