Alcest is a French band created by Neige (also in Amesoeurs, Peste Noire and Forgotten Woods) in early 2000. He began writing songs on his own but a few months afterwards Argoth (bass) and Famine from Peste Noire (lead guitar) joined him and his solo project became a real band. “Tristesse Hivernale” Alcest’s first demo which was composed by Neige and Famine, was released in 2001 by Drakkar Productions. At the time, the band played cold and melodic black metal inspired by the mysterious and melancholic atmospheres of the wintry landscapes. Just after the release of “Tristesse Hivernale” Alcest turned into a solo project again since Neige decided to change of direction and concept in order to explore more intimate themes. While Alcest still retains some black metal roots, the music now draws more comparison to other genres such as shoegaze and post-rock. Neige has stated in interviews that he had not listened to these types of music prior to the recording of Souvenirs d’un autre monde.
Alcest is now Neige’s testimony of the evanescent visions/memories he had as a child about a fantastic faraway world : a plane of existence bathed in a pearly light, beyond all terrestrial beauties, which could perhaps be described as a sort of “intermediate stage” ; the soul would rest there between two earthly lives and would for some time be freed of the burden of incarnation. The first chapter of this journey was “Le Secret” EP, which was released in 2005 by Drakkar Productions. In 2007, Neige agreed to a contract with the German label Prophecy Productions and released Alcest’s debut album “Souvenirs d’un autre monde” the same year. All music/lyrics/artwork are deeply linked to Alcest’s concept and aim at depicting that “place” and the ecstatic feelings one can experience there. This project is a real quest, a perpetual wandering through unknown regions, the hope of which is to shed some light on some mysteries of this esoteric experience.
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