Alcest – Kodama (2016)

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Making their triumphant return after their mostly Post-Rock only release “Shelter”, today we have Alcest and their latest effort “Kodama”. Stepping a bit back into their darker and ‘heavier’ days, this release delivers 48 minutes of the band that so many Metal heads secretly love. The band’s magical sound returns with seven songs that feature a bit of an ideological change into Japanese culture.

The album opens with the whimsical “Kodama”, a very ethereal piece that brings back memories of “Écailles de lune” and “Les Voyages de l'âme”. The dreamy vocal arrangements are made even stronger with guest vocals from Kathrine Shepard of Sylvaine. Continuing in the same vein, the quintessential Alcest shoegazy riffs open “Eclosion”, a piece that nicely builds up while delivering goose bumps. This track marks the return of Neige’s harsh vocals, something that fans thought “Shelter” was missing.

Creating the perfect atmosphere in “Je suis d'ailleurs”, the band clearly shows that while sounding a bit heavier than their previous release, they are still a more refined and cleaner sounding than their first few releases. The percussions of “Untouched” make this song magical, perfectly blending pace, grace and a dreamy and lush chorus sections. As one of our favorite songs from the band, “Oiseaux de proie” is a musical journey through calm and rough waters.

The regular version of the album closes with the atmospheric “Onyx”, luckily for us the version we got has the beautiful “Notre sang et nos pensées” as the closer. This bonus track is majestic in the sense that it creates a very emotional atmosphere. Overall, Alcest have managed to perfectly blend the musicianship of “Shelter” with the atmospheric and emotional magic of “Écailles de lune” and “Les Voyages de l'âme” for “Kodama”. This release is truly magical and memorable, and all fans of the band will certainly agree. If you like atmospheric shoegazy music, this is a release you can’t miss.

Band: Alcest Album: Kodama

Label: Prophecy Productions

Release: September 30th, 2016

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Genre: Post-Metal/Shoegaze

Country: France

Rating: 92/100
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