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Biography

  • Years Active

    2000 – present (21 years)

  • Founded In

    Bagnols-sur-Cèze, Gard, Occitanie, France

  • Members

    • Aegnor (2000 – 2001)
    • Neige (1999 – present)
    • Winterhalter (2009 – present)

Alcest (/al.sɛst/) is a French act formed in Bagnols-sur-Cèze, Occitanie in 2000 by multi-instrumentalist Neige (Stéphane Paut).

It was originally conceived as a solo project, though it would eventually take on the form of a full band as Aegnor (now known as La Sale Famine de Valfunde) and Argoth, with whom Neige played in Peste Noire, joined the fray and released a four-track demo entitled Tristesse hivernale in 2001. This demo was a more straightforward black metal affair, much different from what would happen next. After that released, Alcest returned to a one-member format, with Neige moving away from the metal overtones of the three-piece and embracing a more atmospheric approach to his work.

The 2005 EP release, Le Secret, was more in tune with the project’s ultimate goal, which was to put to ear, as it were, Neige’s fascination with an “otherworld”—of sorts—that had held a fascination for him beginning in his childhood. In 2007, Neige released the first full-length Alcest recording, Souvenirs d'un autre monde, which was released on Prophecy Productions, and was a critical success. Écailles de lune, released in 2010, continues in the otherwordly vein, evoking images of an underwater realm.

The band’s third album, Les Voyages de l'âme, was released on January 6, 2012.

Alcest’s fourth effort entitled Shelter was released on January 17, 2014 via Prophecy Productions. It features Birgir Jón Birgisson as producer, Amiina for the string sections and a guest appearance by Neil Halstead. This album is completely different to any previous Alcest works, and can be described as shoegaze/dream pop.

In 2016 with Kodama, they’re back with their heavier sound, while taking on a concept about “the confrontation of the natural world and the human world”.

2019 brings Spritual Instinct, released this time by Nuclear Blast Records. As Neige said, “It is a very cathartic record—something needed to get out of me. It’s darker than usual, and heavier.”

ᴍᴇᴍʙᴇʀs

  • Neige (Stéphane Paut) — vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards (2000–present), drums (2000–2009)
  • Winterhalter (Jean Deflandre) — drums (2009–present)
  • Zero (Pierre Corson) — guitars, backing vocals (2010–present; live only)
  • Indria Saray — bass (2010–present; live only)

ᴍᴀᴊᴏʀ ʀᴇʟᴇᴀsᴇs

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