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Alcest “Les Chants de l’Aurore” Album Review by Jorge Pozo

alcest

Having been a dedicated fan of Alcest since their beginnings, I’ve eagerly awaited each new release with bated breath. The five-year wait for “Les Chants de l’Aurore” felt agonizingly long, but it was undeniably worth the anticipation. This latest album, released on June 21, 2024, through Nuclear Blast Records, is a magnificent addition to their storied discography, embodying the unique blend of light and darkness that Alcest has perfected over the years.

Since their inception in 2000, Alcest, led by the ingenious Neige and Winterhalter, has traversed a considerable musical evolution. Albums like 2012’s “Les voyages de l’âme” and 2014’s “Shelter” showcased their ability to explore diverse soundscapes, yet always maintaining a balance between ethereal beauty and shadowy intensity. “Les Chants de l’Aurore” continues this tradition but with a renewed sense of jubilation and grandeur.

The opening track, “Komorebi”, immediately takes you on a sonic journey with its radiant harmonies and dynamic instrumentation. The Japanese term “Komorebi”, meaning sunlight filtering through the trees, is fitting as the song encapsulates the warmth and serenity of that image through Neige’s soaring vocals and Winterhalter’s intricate drumming. It’s a strong, inviting start that sets the stage for the rest of the album.

As the album progresses, the beauty of Neige’s guitar work becomes more apparent. The intricate riffs and addictive rhythms are some of the highlights of the album. The first single, “L’Envol”, meaning “flight,” renews a sense of wonder with its jovial guitar melodies and vocals that blend sorrow and beauty. Each note is crafted to perfection, making the ride swift yet meaningful.

“Améthyste” stands out with its harder edges and layered melodies, offering a juxtaposition of harsh and clean vocals. It represents the dichotomy that Alcest has mastered over the years. The second single, “Flamme Jumelle”, or “twin flame,” is another luminous track that captures the burning intensity of love and connection. The emotional depth is palpable and the song resonates with spirit and fervor.

The piano-driven “Réminiscence” is a gentle moment in the album, showcasing Neige’s versatility as both musician and vocalist. This song, embellished by ethereal vocals, is a trip down memory lane, invoking feelings of nostalgia and longing. “L’Enfant de la Lune”, or “child of the moon,” takes the listener on a mysterious journey with its steady rhythm and surprising crescendos. The fast drumming adds intensity while the harmonic vocals provide a beautifully installed contrast.

The album concludes with “L’Adieu”, a breathtakingly poignant ballad. Its melancholic yet peaceful tone provides a fitting closure to the album. This track could mean bidding farewell or preparing for a journey toward brighter horizons. Either way, “L’Adieu” stops you in your tracks and demands introspection as the album draws to a close.

Alcest has a knack for creating music that speaks directly to the soul without needing words. “Les Chants de l’Aurore” is no exception. This album is a journey through various musical landscapes, balancing beauty and intensity in a way only Alcest can. It’s a striking album that evokes memories, dreams, and emotions, remaining rhythmically pleasing from start to finish.

I’ve followed Alcest through their various musical transformations, and  is a triumphant return to their roots while also pushing their sound forward. The craftsmanship, emotion, and soul poured into this album make it an instant classic, further cementing Alcest’s place as pioneers in their genre.

Jorge’s Rating: 10/10

Alcest’s upcoming album “Les Chants de l’Aurore” is now available for pre-order! https://nblast.de/alcest-leschants-nb

alcest album cover
alcest album cover

Tracklist:
Komorebi
L’Envol
Améthyste
Flamme Jumelle
Réminiscence
L’Enfant de la Lune
L’Adieu

Band Members: 
Neige | vocals, guitars, bass, synths 
Winterhalter | drums

Links: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

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