© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Alcest: Making Metal Beautiful

Alcest's "Beings of Light" plays like an alternate soundtrack to <em>Lord of the Rings</em> sung by the elf queen Galadriel.
Courtesy of the artist
Alcest's "Beings of Light" plays like an alternate soundtrack to Lord of the Rings sung by the elf queen Galadriel.

Metal can be pretty, and anyone who says otherwise hasn't spent much time with Alcest. For the past decade, the band's French mastermind, Niege, has softened the edges of black metal — both with the metallic shoegaze of Alcest and with the much-missed one-off Amesoeurs, which crafted something of a blackened love letter to The Cure and Depeche Mode. From Alcest's third album, Les Voyages de l'Âme, "Beings of Light" is like a swarming gossamer dress that radiates a blue glow.

Like an alternate soundtrack to Lord of the Rings sung by the elf queen Galadriel, "Beings of Light" begins with an angelic chorus of ahs that's unafraid to conjure images of Enya. But as voices layer on top of each other, a gauzy, shimmering noise builds until tremolo-picked guitar and blast-beated drums come galloping in at 1:20. As Neige has demonstrated many times before, there's no clash of sound — only something like a cascading waterfall.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Listen to the Viking's Choice playlist, subscribe to the newsletter.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.