If you set out intending to create a soothing, romantic soundscape of a womblike fairyland and the result gets "misinterpreted" as black metal, something's gone awry indeed; that's what Neige, the leader of French band Alcest
, claims happened with their first full-length, Souvenirs d'un Autre Monde
(2005). But the long-awaited follow-up, the new Ecailles de Lune
(Prophecy), makes the original intent a little bit more clear: to create something that straddles the line between black metal and shoegaze, pointing out just how close those two genres can creep to each other. The result is an intoxicating swirl of heavily psychedelic melodic noise, thick and rich and topped with the harsh voice of a metal narrator who wants to remind you that fairyland is not and has never been a safe place for mortals.
That Icelandic volcano notwithstanding, the band is on a rare stateside tour, and will play Reggie's Rock Club on Saturday night.