Alcest – Sur L’Océan Couleur de Fer
Something different today, for those who besides concrete grinding metal also like to listen to something a little more relaxing, because this song is pure wellness to the ear. One of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.
About the band, Alcest, itself first. Behind all the music there’s primarily just one man, a multi-instrumentalist named Neige, which is French for Snow. He was the one that brought the project to life in 1999. He wanted to follow through with the project as a solo thing, but he soon got support from Argoth and Famine of Peste Noir (Black Pest). Together they released a demo named Tristesse Hivernale in 2001, containing pure Black Metal – the nicknames kinda gave it away, didn’t they?
Shortly after that Neige continued on his own and that remained unchanged until now, with the exception of live performances until 2009. The reason for this loneliness, and we quote: “As a child, Neige had fantasies of being in contact with a “far off country”, which he generically refers to as “Fairy Land”. Alcest serves as the musical adaptation of the memories from this fantasy world“. Neige intends for Alcest to be a journey for the listener to this world through his memories.”
He made a start with that with his 2005 Le Secret EP, which can still be categorized as Black Metal, but already contains a lot of melodies and atmospherities. Then the definite style change came with the debut album Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde. The whole is called Shoegaze Black Metal or Black Metal with Shoegaze/Post Rock influences, or also Blackgaze – showing the creativity of people in pointing out genres these days. In this young genre, Alcest counts as one of the bands pulling (other, similar styled and recommended bands are Amesoeurs and Les Discrets, in which Neige is also active).
In March of this year Alcest’s second album came out, called Écailles de Lune, on which we find the song with which this post actually deals. Sur L’Océan Couleur de Fer is the title, which means as much as Above the Iron Colored Ocean. It doesn’t have much to do with metal: no drums, only E-tuned clean guitars and Neige’s singing, so not barking.
The combination is great though, the guy’s vocals matching perfectly to the beautiful clean guitar sound. Also, I’m pretty certain there couldn’t be a language more fitting for this music than French. Right then, enough descriptions. I won’t bore you any further, it’s time to press the play button. In case you did in fact get tired of all the reading, you’ll be soothingly sung to sleep now!