It continues smoothly, to the delight of all fans of good music, the stylistic path undertaken for over a decade by the French Stéphane Pout, better known as Neige, and his solo project Alcest. Kodama is the fifth full length in a discography of excellent level, which has seen our move from a form of black metal with dreamy shades up to a sort of codification of what is now called shoegaze. If, on the one hand, the harshness contained in Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde will be missed by those accustomed to more robust sounds, today’s Alcest return focused at best the poetic and artistic feeling of Neige. The kodama are spirits that, in the Japanese tradition, hover in the woods and, in fact, their imaginative role is well suited to a music that floats in tune with our consciousness, guiding us along the dreamlike visions of the French musician. References to Japanese music are found only at times, in certain passages of the title track and in the instrumental Onyx, placed at the close of the work, but for the rest Kodama is a work that does not mislead and does not disappoint, from its first note, those who have come to love and know the art expressed by Neige, as always accompanied in recent years by the faithful drummer Winterhalter. Kodama is a work that winds liquid and intense, as perhaps not happened to Alcest for a while, also recovering with conviction some acceleration of black matrix (Eclosion, Oiseaux De Proie) that, to us souls intimately metallic, is always a great pleasure to hear again, inserted within sequences marked by a melancholic languor. Neige has the innate ability to evoke images through their music: the sense of the inexorable flowing of time and the need to imprint every moment in memory, so that all the experience does not turn out to be in vain and is irreparably lost forever (in this regard I recommend everyone to look at that poignant work of visual and musical art that corresponds to the video shot years ago for Autre Temps), are the core of the poetics of Alcest. Personally I consider Kodama the best work of the transalpine artist since Écailles de Lune, and this is no small thing, but it is clear to all that, beyond the nuances that can make everyone prefer a work rather than another, we are in the presence of one of the most talented and influential musicians ever emerged in the new millennium.
2016 – Prophecy Productions
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