Prophecy Productions (2012)
There are musicians who regularly release new music because it's their job for which they receive sometimes just, compensation, and then there are those who are so full of music WITHIN they can hardly wait to put it out there, whether or not it's time for a new album. If their original band is not due for one they create a side project and if that does not suffice they release it as their solo efforts. It is, as one once said, a difference of job vs. calling or destiny. To the professional musicians we can include tons of musicians, but true artists are recognizable for juggling many different projects, paid or NOT: Michael Åkerfeld, Chuck Schuldiner, Dave Mustaine, Max Cavalera, Michael Stanne, Vegard Tveitan (Ihsahn), Vortex and, the Frenchman of whom I never heard before 2010, Neige, born Stephane Paut.
The roster of the past and present bands/projects Snow (French Neige) has been/is a part of reads like a menu of a French restaurant: Amesoeurs, Peste Noire, Lantlôs, Mortifera, Forgotten Woods, Phest, Old Silver Key, and, of course, his daily job, Alcest. Neige is a multiinstrumentalist, a one man army, which is obvious if you consider there are only two members of Alcest. The band that is the main subject of this report, relased thus far three albums, with the debut, "Souvenirs d'un Autre Monde", widely regarded as a masterpiece of progressive black metal and the 2010 "Écailles de Lune", reviewed with a high score here by yours truly, as one of the best albums of that year.
So the question: anything new on this new album "Les Voyages de L'Âme" we have not already heard on the predecessors? The answer: no, does not automatically mean that it's the same burger warmed up two years later, even if "Ecailles…" is a superior and heavier album. "Les Voyages…" is both different and good old "Neige record", much like Lantlôs' "Neon" was. Neige is still a very skilled and talented musician and a capital "A" artist, but there are signs that he may be getting bored with not just black, but metal in general. In fact, this album is more goth rock than anything else that comes to mind while it's spinning in your disc player.
It is undoubtedly, beautiful music to majestic and profound poetry and it's worth a good listen. But Neige is repeatedly making the same annoying mistake: everything he is a part of sounds the same, and, at least I, hear no progress or deviation from the norm. Aggressive, black metal's brother's cousin riffing is still audibly present in a very melodic "Là Où Naissent Les Couleurs Nouvelles" as are the blackish shrieks, but most of it is mellow and even a little drowsy in places. And none of it holds the candle to the debut or even the sequel. Neige is still...Neige. And it is on this fact that this album will either stand or fall in your eyes, with myself in a happy medium.
Rating: 4 / 6
Composed by Dethster4life