The massive Enslaved/Ghost/Alcest tour hit NYC on September 25th after months of waiting and nonstop hype. Despite the unfortunate loss of Ghost and the addition of the lesser known Junius, the Gramercy was still packed (with Ghost shirts). The show was fucking awesome. Local doom metal outfit Fin’Amor laid the dark, atmospheric groundwork for the following acts, giving excited headbangers an extremely impressive performance.
If you’re unfamiliar with French black metal musician Neige, you might want to read my previous posts for some background: Of Another World, part one and part two. Every Alcest recording has an intangible, ethereal quality your mortal brain can never quite grasp. Like chasing a blackgaze butterfly, the nostalgia that is the essence of Neige’s creation always remains just out of reach. In this dimension, anyway. How does one translate such subtle qualities into a live performance? Is it possible for invisible spirits to remain unseen while captivating dozens of individuals at the same time? Neige, Zero, and Winterhalter defy natural law when they take the stage. How Alcest manages to embody the very definition of ethereal is a secret, and it should remain that way. I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed a tear during heartbreaker “Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde,” and I wasn’t alone. Sincerely one of the most emotional concert experiences I’ve ever had. I didn’t catch much of Junius, but they seemed tight. Enslaved was magnificent, crushing everyone aurally while everyone crushed each other physically. I distinctly remember dragging someone out of the pit by their neck. Br00tal.
Thanks to Ross, I was lucky enough to meet up with Neige before Alcest’s set. Due to a crowded bar and a press sticker mix-up, the interview venue became the doorway of a very busy apartment building. Neige was such a good sport about the situation and a fantastic conversationalist, unhindered by a foreign tongue. Drummer Winterhalter eventually joined us, also an easy-going guy, officially making Alcest the Nicest Band Ever. Also of note is Neige’s recommendation of San Francisco’s experimental black metal outfit Deafheaven, a band you will be hearing a lot about in the future. Get on this ASAP: http://deafheavens.bandcamp.com/
–BariAnn Read More