ALCEST set off for mythological Thebes

29. October 2019


ALCEST machen sich auf den Weg ins mythologische Theben

In ancient Egypt the Sphinx served as a memorial for Pharaohs, the Hittites worshipped it as a gatekeeper, in Southeast Asian cultures it has a protective function. In Greek mythology, on the other hand, it becomes a death demon. And now she is the central artwork element on Alcest's sixth album, "Spiritual Instinct". It is precisely the ambivalence of the figure that fascinates band mastermind Stéphane "Neige" Paut so much. "She has a very beautiful face and elegant wings, but also has claws and animal elements. That's where I find myself," he muses. "On the one hand, one is this spiritual being who strives for higher things. On the other hand, you're just an animal with basic instincts that's angry, anxious and often very gloomy." Thus he delivers the characterization of his music at the same time. Alcest has always been characterized by the combination of apparent opposites. On "Spiritual Instinct", "Neige" and his drummer "Winterhalter" fuse detached pop melodies and Shoegaze wavers with the cathartic rage and fear of atmospheric Black Metal to produce art that is consistently life-affirming - with a transcendent level.

In the tradition of French Symbolists, who resurrected them in their works at the end of the 19th century, "Neige" also sees the Sphinx as a symbol for the great questions of life and thus for spirituality. On the album the musician asks these questions - he is only conditionally interested in answers: "Sometimes the way is the goal. I find it more important to ask the questions in the first place than ever to get a real answer to them. Do we have a soul? What's the meaning of life? These questions frighten people, but I've always been concerned with them and trying to grow to become a little better every day, both for myself and for others. You start out from nothing, ask yourself questions and go on a quest." The approach reflects "Neiges" understanding of songwriting: "It's kind of magical when you start creating something from scratch and suddenly little songs come out of it piece by piece although you don't even know exactly where it all comes from" The 34-year-old describes the creative phase as "sacred". He's kind of immersing himself in another world. "I always try to connect with myself and my deeper feelings. When you write music, there must be no business, no personal preferences or anything like that. Anything that forces or incriminates you should stay outside the door." ...


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