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Alcest at Theater Fairmount, Montreal, Canada

in Thursday, 25 October 2018 at Theater Fairmount
by Martin “Doomed” Desbois

Last night I was to a venue that I know fairly well, having being there many time this year. The Fairmount Theater is a pretty cool place because of the way the stage and the access to it is very versatile and comfortable: no stress to have a nice view of the band playing. I’m 5 feet 6 so I guess everyone is ok… ha-ha. You can see the band from three perspectives because of the U-shaped floor around the stage, even if there’s no seats, standing only. I was there to see France’s Blackgaze/Post-Black Metal, ALCEST, performing their 2016’s and latest album to date, “Kodama” (means Tree spirit in Japanese) in its entirety. This album was greatly influenced by the Japanese animation movie, Princess Mononoke; a great movie. We were there for the first of 6 dates, North American only tour, marking the end of two years of intense touring. I felt lucky to see them in my hometown. They especially like Montreal, and Neige (singer) told me they need a good rest after this tour, as it was extremely exhausting.

An excellent match between the opening band and ALCEST.

There was only one opening act and we were offered a local band that’s been active for a little more than ten years, MILANKU. They play a great mix of influences including, Post-Hardcore, Post-Metal, Post-Rock. They are very talented and immersive. Their music is emotionally driven, a reflection, Powered-up with great energy, vocals only when necessary, they can build up an entire mountain of sound, carefully evolving into a volcano. They got amazing songwriting skills. Listening to MILANKU will get you hooked. Since their songs are not standard in length (don’t have any problem with that), they couldn’t play that many songs, but each one was worth it. They sing in French, but even if you don’t know French, you’ll feel what the song is about. Music tells everything. Vocals may be compared to ISIS, Neurosis etc.

MILANKU Setlist: 1-On s’épuise 2-Hypomanie 3-Densité du réel 4- La chute

Playing with ALCEST was an excellent opportunity for them to gain newer fans and a solid exposure. Their set was flawless and the crowd was charmed. They had them in their hands. They released a brand new full-length album on December 1st in Montreal and in Quebec City on December 8th. I wish them the best! ALCEST was expected and people were impatient to see them again. Last time was at the foufounes électriques in January 2017. They did as promised and played “Kodama” except for the last song called “Notre Sang et nos Penées”. (Meaning Our blood and our thoughts). After that they played “Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde,Percées de Lumière”, “Autre Temps” and “Là ou Naissent les Couleurs Nouvelles”. After a few minutes of clapping hands and yelling loud we had the chance to hear them again for an encore with the song “Deliverance, which completed the circle and made everyone happy. The atmosphere and the energy was overwhelming. People were happy as hell and kind of looked soothed while displaying faces of satisfaction. I met a woman with her 8 years old kid attending the show and we met Neige aka Stéphane (vocals) after the show for a generous chat. We shared stories and had a good time. It was an amazing concert, great for meeting new people and sharing our beloved passion: MUSIC!

ALCEST Setlist:
Je suis d'ailleurs
Oiseaux de proie
Souvenirs dans un autre monde
Percées de lumière
Autre temps
Là ou naissent les couleurs nouvelles
Encore: Déliverance

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