Smoke typically rises from sewer grates on the wrong side of town, but in the case of the Alcest show Friday night at Reggie's Rock Club, it was exactly where you wanted to be. The smoke rising out of the sewer grate in the middle of Reggie's stage filled the club in a fitting haze for the French shoe gaze/Black Metal band Alcest - although I would argue they fit into none of those categories.
Alcest is a band conjuring the "Fairy Land" from founding member Neige's (Stéphane Paut) childhood. So, the smoke and the hushed silence filling the rests lent the perfect air to the evenings performance. Alcest's music is very European in the sense that this would be exactly the music the Celtic Gauls might have written had they metal in those dark ages. This "otherworldness" imbued the night with a wiff of magic or the occult.
Sticking predominately with their new album Les Voyages de l'Âme (in English: The Journeys of the Soul), Alcest played a concise set - Neige honest about the language barrier, but transcendent musically. The band mixed heavenly vocals with demonic wail and a child's coo with the lion's roar. Like a fairy-tale character, the band claimed their visions as did Peter and his wolves.
Pick up Alcest's record Les voyages de l'âme here.