"Kodama" (Japanese for "tree spirit" or "echo") is the fifth studio album by blackgaze band ALCEST marks the French duo's ferocious return to the epic and contrasted style of its early works while continuing the band's relentless pursuit for fresh ideas. Combining poetic elements with darker ones, that were not present in ALCESTs earlier works, "Kodama" manifests as an intense album, featuring a more organic, punchy sound and showcasing impulses from an array of different places. This concept album is about "the confrontation of the natural world and the human world", inspired by Hayao Miyazaki's film Princess Mononoke. "Kodama" picks up on the fate of its protagonist and, at its core, deals with the sensation of not belonging; of living in between worlds, be it city and nature, the physical and spiritual one. By giving the album a cultural, stylistic and compositional narrative, Neige and Winterhalter keep "Kodama" from just being the latest improvement on the ALCEST sound and instead make the album a most rare and exciting thing: a vital, relevant record from a front runner that not only upholds the band's trailblazing legacy, but actually makes you want to see where they go next.
Musically the album is a return to the band's earlier blackgaze style, due to Neige's feeling that he "needed to go for something more punchy, darker, and more personal too." Kodama is also the first ALCEST album to feature Indria Saray performing on bass, though he has played with the band live for many years.
"Kodama" is a strikingly pretty and graceful record, a tasteful homage to the music and culture that inspired it. The record starts with the natural bittersweet title track, a wonderful piece exactly a tune that I remembered that ALCEST should sound like. Where the flow just rasps your skin and the melody signs in your brain, the blood flows fast in your vain almost like you will explode. The second piece "Eclosion" follows the same road, keeps the warm blood stream on it's course to the heart that blows more red than ever. When "Eclosion" fades away the grande "Je Suis D’Ailleurs" takes over by overwhelmingly rich layers of tingly chords, by now you are lost, the compass is failing and you are totally disoriented. When the tremolos and blast beats of "Oiseaux de Proie" takes control you will race your hands to the sky and fall down on you knees and scream out loud until the short instrumental piece "Onyx" ends the album with a great march.
Sum: Kodama delivers on all accounts an excellent and very emotionally powerful album, you need this.
Today's tune "Oiseaux de Proie" is taken from "Kodama", was released on September 30, 2016 via Prophecy Productions.
Date Venue Location
Oct 30 Gebäude 9 Koln, Germany Sold Out
Oct 31 Jubez Karlsruhe, Germany
Nov 01 Salzhaus Winterthur, Switzerland
Nov 02 Circolo Magnolia Milan, Italy
Nov 03 Mostovna Nova Gorica, Slovenia
Nov 04 Locomotiv Bologna, Italy
Nov 05 Init Roma, Italy
Nov 06 Spazio 211 Turin, Italy
Nov 07 Centre Culturel Oecuménique Villeurbanne, France
Nov 08 La Maroquinerie Paris, France Sold Out
Nov 09 Talking Heads Southampton, United Kingdom
Nov 10 O2 Academy 2 Birmingham Birmingham, United Kingdom
Nov 11 O2 Academy 2 Leicester Leicester, United Kingdom
Nov 12 Classic Grand Glasgow, United Kingdom
Nov 13 Brudenell Social Club Leeds, United Kingdom
Nov 14 Gorilla Manchester, United Kingdom
Nov 15 The Globe Cardiff, United Kingdom
Nov 16 The Marble Factory Bristol, United Kingdom
Nov 17 Electric Brixton London, United Kingdom
Nov 18 VK Brussels, Belgium
Nov 19 013 Tilburg, Netherlands
Nov 20 P60 Amstelveen, Netherlands
Nov 21 Uebel & Gefährlich Hamburg, Germany
Nov 22 Lille Vega København V, Denmark Nov 23 Pustervik Göteborg, Sweden
Nov 24 Parkteatret Oslo, Norway Nov 25 Debaser Strand Stockholm, Sweden Nov 26 KB Malmö, Sweden
Nov 27 BiNuu Berlin, Germany
Nov 28 B90 Gdansk, Poland
Nov 29 Firlej Wroclaw, Poland
Nov 30 Szene Wien, Austria
Dec 01 Durer Kert Budapest, Hungary
Dec 02 Tabacka Kosice, Slovakia
Dec 03 Rockstadt Brasov, Romania
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