When: Wed., Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m. 2017
Genre-straddling and occasionally divisive, France’s Alcest have always been one of the most compelling bands working the not-quite-plain-metal frontiers. Whether you consider them prime instrumental black metal, a sort of kinder and gentler Burzum for those who prefer 100 percent less Varg Vikernes, or essentially a shoegaze band that happens to be gazing at black spiky boots—closer to My Bloody Valentine than, say, Darkthrone—you get evidence of it all on their recent Kodama (Prophecy). Composer and front man Neige has always been a dreamer influenced by his childhood visions of fairyland—not unlike the Brontë kids with their mythical world Gondal—and here we also get a Japanese folklore theme. (Remember those little white forest spirits in Princess Mononoke? Those are kodama.) Romantic and tender at times, rich and complex, Kodama brings slight returns to earlier forms. Note the heavy crunch of “Oiseaux de Proie,” which starts out playful and builds to a surging roar. Neige’s forest fairyland is still red in tooth and claw.
Price: $23, $18 in advance