Ecailles de Lune
Prophecy Productions, 2010
Shoegaze post-black metal. Yes, that is one of the many descriptions heaped on Alcest, the project of French musician Neige. Yeah, if pressed, I would definitely categorize his other work as black metal. But it's so much.. prettier. Just like Ecailles de Lune (Scales of the Moon). I would hesitate to call it shoegaze. To me, it's more Sunny Day Real Estate than Ride. But then the black metal kicks in and the machine gun snare and strained vocals take over, and yadda yadda yadda. Which is fine. Hey, I like black metal as much as the next guy. But Alcest is already stepping way outside the black metal box, so to speak, by making a record that sounds like Diary, so why try to throw in aspects of black metal that are so predictable? I like this record. It sounds like the soundtrack to a movie adaptation of a graphic novel, which might be slightly lame but the fact that it's all in French totally makes up for it. If you like catchy pop riffs, 10 minute songs and don't mind a little bit of evil, this is your s**t.