Alcest Long Sleeves

    Alcest

    Years Active
    2000 – present (22 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 blackgaze 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.