Alcest – Public Assembly 2012 [uncut#5]
Brooklyn, Public Assembly 31 March 2012
Set List: Autre temps > Les Iris > Là où naissent les couleurs nouvelles > Les Voyages De L’Âme > Printemps émeraude > Écailles de lune – Part 1 > Sur l’océan couleur de fer > Percées de lumière > Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde > Summer’s Glory
As a self-described hardcore fan, people are often confused when they find out I listen to black metal, especially black metal in the vein of Alcest.
How, they question, can someone who identifies so strongly with hardcore—typified by raw emotion and simplistically fast chord progressions—also identify with the complexity of a band like Alcest, a band whose influences and songwriting are as convoluted as the muddle of syllables in each French song title?
The answer is simple: For all its stylization, Alcest is at its core telling a simple story, just like any hardcore band.
Neige, who founded Alcest in 2000, isn’t crafting songs; he’s crafting portals into new worlds; worlds that the esotericists would call the invisible cosmos—places where all beings (both human and non-human) converge. Alcest’s music is spiritual, but without dogma. It is, as the title of their 2012 album suggests, les voyages de l’ame—travels of the soul.
Alcest transcends the bounds of black metal, shoegaze, post-metal or whatever other arbitrary terms one might apply to its sound because Alcest isn’t about genre—it’s about storytelling. And the story it tells (unlike most other extreme bands) is innocent and hopeful…hopeful in the way a crewman on a ship is hopeful that, after a long journey, he will one day wake up to land.
Là où naissent les couleurs nouvelles
Les Voyages De L’Âme
Écailles de lune – Part 1
Sur l’océan couleur de fer
Percées de lumière
Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde