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Alcest – Shelter

It cannot be denied that Alcest has worked very hard to gain a righteous role in music. The new album “Shelter” represents most likely the musical turning point that Neige & co. was meant to reach to become an established band.
While “Opale” is full of that spiritually uplifting mood that is part of Alcest’s musical legacy, the songwriting itself doesn’t strike as unique or particularly creative. The smooth guitar melodies layered on a poppy upbeat rhythm makes this song widely accessible yet not as strong as you would expect from a full length opener.
“La Nuit Marce Avec Moi” incarnates more what Alcest’s music means in the contemporary music scene. There are poetic and extremely delicate sentiments entwined in every guitar phrase and the vocals have that ethereal delivery that gently accompanies the listeners through the realm of dreams.
“Voix Sereines” focuses on a shimmery crystalline guitar sound that truly embodies the benign power of light. At the same time, there is an intoxicating taste for melancholy portrayed by an incredibly soft guitar distortion almost hidden, yet certainly palpable in the rhythm section.
“L’Enveil Des Muses” has the most captivating dreamy musical landscape. Every stylistic element that defines Alcest’s music is incorporated on this song filled with Neige’s softest vocals diving through delicate melodies.
“Away” is a desperately delicate ballad featuring Neil Halstead from Slowdive as lead singer. Everything is slowed down and the melodic guitars work harmoniously to create a painless world of pure serenity.
All over internet “Shelter” is defined as a “non-metal” album which makes you wonder if this is a flaw or a virtue. Anyways, Alcest delivers once again an inspiring peaceful dreamy album but, despite an obviously mature sound, “Shelter” seems to be missing the immediately addictive heterogeneous alchemy that made “Les Voyages De L’Ame” a mesmerizing masterpiece.

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