Alcest is a French shoegaze band from Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France, founded and led by Neige (Stéphane Paut). It began in 2000 as a black metal solo project by Neige, soon a trio, but following the release of their first demo in 2001, band members Aegnor and Argoth left the band, leaving Neige as the sole member.
This marked a change in style, as Alcest's subsequent releases have more often been described as shoegazing mixing numerous rock and metal influences, including black metal and post-metal. In 2009 the ex-Peste Noire's drummer Winterhalter (now in Les Discrets) joined Alcest's studio line-up, after eight years with Neige as the sole full time member. Since its creation, Alcest has released four studio albums. - Source
Shelter, the fourth album from Alcest is almost none of the Black Metal influences found in their previous albums, and is purely shoegaze. Some fans might not enjoy it, but I do. I still prefer Écailles de lune when it comes to my personal favorite Alcest album, but I have been listening to Shelter quite a lot the past few weeks since it's release.
From the very first track "Wings" to the last "Délivrance" Alcest takes us on a journey of soothing melodies and hauntingly beautiful vocals. One of the tracks, Away, features english vocals instead of the normal french. "Away" also sounds a lot different than the usual Alcest songs we know.
A;cest - Shelter is a great album for current Alcest fans and people new to Shoegaze, unsure if this is for you? Why not try out "Opale"?