Alcest – Shelter


When I first heard that France’s Alcest dropped the black metal facade for their fourth full-length well it threw me off a little. Why would a great band decide to ditch the trendiest coolest subgenre adopted by indie kids for a sound no one has cared about for years (with the exception of Polaris darlings Godspeed You! Black Emperor I guess)? I am of course referring to the highly influential late ’90s thing called post-rock. I mean we have Friday Night Lights what more do we need?

Maybe it had to do with getting Sigur Rós engineer Birgir Jón Birgisson on board to produce but Alcest now sound like some ethereally textured gift from the heavens above. Or maybe just Iceland.

Shelter however also defies post-rock’s trappings eschewing the quiet-to-loud model for a range of sublime wistful arrangements that just kind of float wonderfully like pretty clouds or something.

The evocative 10-minute “Délivrance” channels Sigur Rós’ signature style complete with warm fuzzies while the anthemic riffs of “Opale” sound ripe for the picking of some lame teen drama that isn’t FNL . They even pull in Neil Halstead for a guest vocal on “Away” which makes me wonder why he hasn’t re-formed Slowdive yet.

Maybe post-rock is the new black metal?