Alcest at The El Rey Theatre

alcestelrey1Alcest, The El Rey Theatre, October 3, 2013

When Alcest toured the States with Enslaved in 2011, they nearly stole the show with their powerful post rock incantations. On the road here in the States once again, this time in support of the legendary Anathema, Alcest was once again impressing the early arrivals with this darkly lush tapestries. The French collective has been making quite a name for themselves all over the world, and the packed house at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles gave them a rapturous response.  While one envisions a merging of Opeth meets Pink Floyd, Alcest channels its own inner beast, alternating between sweet melancholy and an all-out sonic intensity that is absolutely wondrous to behold. Once the opening refrains of Autre Temps commenced, band and audience were swept away onto an epic journey of magic and intrigue.

Songs such as Les voyages de l’âme and Opale left a lingering impression, reverberating throughout the hallowed walls of the El Rey with a vibrant intensity. The majestic compositions set ones imagination in flight, dazzling the senses with a fevered passion. Even within the quietest moments, the musical visions were stirring and dynamic. Front man Neige was especially appreciative of the crowd response, possessing a subtle yet vibrant charisma.

One standout track was the dazzling Summers Glory, a vast and glorious sonnet channeling the shoegazing Ride in their heyday. And at the end of their set, Neige and Company presented the audience with a brand new song entitled Deliverance, which will be included on their forthcoming album Shelter. A mesmerizing conclusion of a performance that will linger within the minds of all who gravitated to the El Rey at an early hour.  Anathema would take to the stage next and live up to their own legendary band status – yet once again, Alcest provided a captivating opening performance that commanded the undivided attention of a packed house. Expect to see Alcest headlining their own shows the next time they arrive in the States. In the meantime, be sure to check out their latest magnum opus Les Voyages de l’Âme and all their other astounding releases courtesy of Prophecy Productions!

(Review and Photo by Ken Morton)

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