If you’re not familiar with Alcest, it’s a post-black metal band created by the Frenchman Neige. He soon after added musicians to the mix, and then subtracted musicians to the mix, and then added one for drums. This is the follow up to  Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde which was a fresh breath in the black metal scene. It had a mix of shoe-gaze and post-rock influences into black metal to create a surprisingly happy experience.

The new album follows on a similar path. It creates happy feelings (in me at least) and everything sounds gorgeous. The atmosphere takes its inspiration mostly from shoe-gaze. It is full, and powerful, but at the same time very light. Neige’s clean vocals soar over the music with gusto, and the traditional black metal shrieks don’t influence the album into a dark spiral. It retains it’s atmosphere and beauty the whole way through.

Unlike the previous full-length album, this one flows a lot better which creates a much easier and more enjoyable listening experience when engaging in the full album (not that the first album wasn’t). In fact, the whole album flows so well I can’t differentiate the songs very well. I just turn the album on and let it go. This album really puts you in a mood, and the exact opposite mood you’d expect from this area of metal. Despite this, it does it very, very well.

[wpaudio url=”https://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/alcest-abysses.mp3″ text=”Alcest – Abysses” dl=”0″]

4.5 beautiful french black metal shrieks out of 5.

-MW

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