February 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Alcest – Shelter

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Alcest
Shelter
Prophecy Productions
Street: 01.21
Alcest = Slowdive + Secret Shine
The influence of Slowdive’s genre-defining shoegaze can be a heavy burden, especially when its singer, Neil Halstead himself, guests on one of your tracks. Multi-instrumentalist Neige of multi-influenced French band Alcest manages to not only do right by such influence, but also create his most compelling album to date from it. With drummer Winterhalter, Neige has left all ties to black metal behind with this release. From honey-laced harmonies on “Opale,” to meandering compositions on “Voix Sereines,” to the Halstead sung, Souvlaki-esque ballad “Away,” the album is filled with lush musical contemplations and triumphant melodies start-to-finish. Slow, slurry and staring out into space, Shelter is a stellar album of well-made shoegaze. –Christian Schultz
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