Alcest - Spiritual Instinct (2019)


The initiators of the Blackgaze movement are back with yet another majestic release in “Spiritual Instinct”. With over 40 minutes of music, Alcest finds a middle ground between their heavier and harsher sound of albums like “Souvenirs d'un autre monde” and “Écailles de lune” with the dreaminess and directness of “Shelter”. While “Kodama” felt more back to basics, this release feels more of a hybrid of their calmer sound with their early days exploits.

With the release opening with the playful “Les jardins de minuit”, the band leads with their signature guitars and crafty drumming. We particularly enjoy the typical dreaminess of the clean backing vocals as it contrasts with the heavier guitar sections. Of course there are faster paced passages with harsh vocals and furious drumming for their older fans, like on “Protection”. There are certain Post-Metal elements which make the songs a bit different than what “Kodaima” presented, like on the funky “Sapphire” and its intricate bass guitar line.

Our favorite track is the dramatic tour-de-force “L’île des morts”, full of highly emotive atmospheric moments and soul crushing harsh vocals sections. The band is que proficient in setting a very engaging pace in their songs, allowing their musical artistry to be fully consumed by the listener. Evoking a feeling of wonder and amusement, “Le Miroir” is one of the band’s most accomplished and yet minimalist transition songs. Saving the dreamiest song for last, the album title track creates that magical feeling we have all felt when seeing the band live as they perform covered in fog as their shoegazing guitars fill the room with sound.

As a whole, “Spiritual Instinct” is one killer release that further elevates Alcest as the leading band in the genre. Their highly emotional sound is majestic and as they continue to do small tweaks on it, it just keeps getting better and better. If you are a fan of bands like Tides From Nebula, EF, Mono, Slowdive, and alike, and you have never heard of this band, drop everything you are doing and get on with the program. If you are a longstanding fan of the band, this release will just make you like them even more.

Band: Alcest Album: Spiritual Instinct

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release: October 25th, 2019

Homepage Facebook

Genre: Post-Metal / Shoegaze / Blackgaze

Country: France

Rating: 96/100

Recent Image Galleries