Le Secret was the second release of the band and it soon became an insider’s tip. The following hype was the reason why the EP was sold out shortly after its release, but the request remained huge. This has to be one of the reasons why they will rerelease the EP and they even rerecorded it. But will the effort cash out?
The EP consists of two songs, each in respectively two versions. There is the rerecorded version and the original one, so that the listener can compare the versions directly. While the original versions were black metal in many ways, the rerecorded ones sound matured and so you can track their progression. The first point where this maturation shines through is found at the production, which is really clear now. This is not the only change that can be found, so read on.
The intro of Le Secret was abondoned for the rerecorded version, so that you will not hear any real introduction before the song starts. This shortens the track by a whole minute, but that should not really bother you, since it is still long … too long? What remains positive is the production, as it enhances the created atmosphere a lot. Finally a band that understands that a clear production creates more atmosphere than a swarm of raging bees.
The playing time of the song is still quite huge, like I mentioned before. The problem is, that, although there are good ideas, the length of over ten minutes is too long, since the song is quite eventless. As there is a lack of variation, the song still creates a lot of atmosphere and invites you to daydream a little. The track only uses the clean vocals that Neige is known for. This could take some time to get used to.
As Le Secret was deprived of one minute, the Elevation received additional 40 seconds. The song still starts with a synthie intro and proceeds harsher than its predecessor. Neige abandons clean vocals and sticks with growls/screams to spread the lyrics. Sadly, this song is a bit long-drawn-out too, although it is a bit more thrilling, as there are acoustic passages and some passages where the distorted guitar alone creates the atmosphere. The strange passages where they made mistakes/they played the wrong notes are gone and the icing on the cake is the guitar solo.
If you compare the original versions with the rerecord ones you soon will realise that they are playing more virtuose than ever and the vocals have matured as well. The compositions did not change very much and so the rating will orientate itself by the original versions and only regard the changes. The original version would have get ~73 points but as the improvements are huge I will add 10 additional ones. Fans of Alcest really should get the rerecorded version of the EP, as you can track the progression they went through and it is a really good profile of the band with the thrilling modern sound.
Date of Release: 20th May 2011
- Le Secret (Re-recorded) 13:32
- Elevation (Re-recorded) 13:26
- Le Secret (Original) 14:33
- Elevation (Original) 12:46
Total Playing Time: 54:17