Alcest take you on a journey with their music. Each record is a doorway into another world; sometimes celestial, often spiritual, certainly always beautiful. Their fifth studio album, Kodama, was no exception. Inspired by the stunning Hayao Miyazaki animated movie, Princess Mononoke, and with the title itself referring to the tree spirits of Japanese folklore, it continued down the mythical path that Alcest have always walked.
On their 2014 album, Shelter, Alcest fully embraced their love of indie rock and shoegaze, which wasn’t all that surprising to people who have followed their career closely. For Kodama, Neige and Winterhalter looked to the past in order to move forward, bringing back the black metal element of Escailles De Lune, while still keeping the majesty of their melodic material present. They were already considered pioneers of ‘blackgaze’, but Kodama was a chance to for the French band to reinvent the wheel one more time.
Something that makes Alcest even more special is the limited edition variants of their albums, and Kodama was given the deluxe upon its released. Their label, Prophecy, released a stunning box set version, limited to just 177 copies on magenta coloured vinyl, spread across 4LP’s – the final side featuring etching similar to the Princess Mononoke inspired artwork of the sleeve – and mastered at 45rpm for optimum sound. It also came with a CD variant of the album with a bonus track, Notre Sang Et Nos Pensées, several art prints, and a certificate with lithographed signatures of the band.
It is a lavish set that even the most known bands wouldn’t put the time and effort into. For Alcest, a band who remain relatively underground, no expense was spared to help truly bring Kodama to life.
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