Nothing is wrong with Alcest’s “Les Voyages de L’Âme” – which translates to “Voyages of the Soul” in English – but there’s nothing gobsmacking about it, either.
It would quite possibly be awesome if singer/writer Neige hadn’t already released two records that cover similar ground as Alcest.
It’s French metal that isn’t very heavy, throwing shoegaze and post-rock elements into the mix. Where 2009′s “Écailles de Lune” was graceful metal, as if metal ever had any reason to sound sweet, but “Voyages” does little to build on those frames, instead extending them.
The opening and closing cuts, “Autre Temps” and “Summer’s Glory,” respectively, are the two best things here, but by the time “Summer’s Glory” plays, it’s more of a resignation than a triumph.
Neige is going to have to break the mold going forward if Alcest is going to show any progression.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.