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Amesoeurs > Amesoeurs > 2009, CD, Profound Lore Records > Reviews > LawrenceStillman
Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs

Same people, different feelings - 91%

LawrenceStillman, May 23rd, 2023
Written based on this version: 2009, CD, Profound Lore Records

As a fan of Alcest, I pretty much checked out this album the moment I heard that Neige and co. had another post-black album with another project. Amesoeurs' self-titled album is a short-lived, concentrated effort by four individuals: Neige, Winterhalter, Fursy Tessier, and Audrey Sylvain. This album blends post-black metal and post-punk to create an album that conveys the bleak and depressive feelings of urban life. To say that the band and album name are ironic would be an understatement. Audrey was at odds with Niege and co. after the album was released and burned bridges with them, joining Peste Noire for a while before joining and leaving lots of projects, which contradicts the band's name because it translates into "soulmates".

Compared to Alcest's sound of hope, cheerfulness, and uplifting, Amesoeurs' sound is the audible manifestation of urban depression. It has grunge's apathetic spirit, but it does not sound as hopeless as grunge does. This is nothing new in metal, as bands like Diapsiquir have done this before, with their black metal/hip-hop sound being the soundtrack of urban decay. But what sets this album apart from others is the involvement of Neige, and it has lots of elements of post-black/shoegaze with a healthy dose of post-punk.

The album shifts between a lot of emotions and tones. Sometimes it sounds cheerful like the title track, sometimes it sounds like a pure black metal track (Trouble), and sometimes it conveys this wistful and depressive feeling, as if it is saying "urban life is this inescapable prison" (La Reine Treyeuse). The cleaner sections might appeal to popheads who want to venture into indie music, but it is still pretty heavy and oppressive in its atmosphere, so consider this a heads-up. Every song here sounds different from one another, but they all have the same feeling and atmosphere of bleakness and depression. Some of the songwriting here ended up influencing Alcest's album Escailles de Lune, which is one of the best post-black metal albums there is.

Production-wise, it is very clean and crisp. The guitars have this airy feeling that gives this album its atmospheric feel, the bass is fairly audible and crunchy, and the drums are also loud and clear while not sounding triggered or programmed. The vocals here are pretty amazing too; some of the best sections of the album are the ones with Audrey's singing, like the ending of the self-titled track. But Neige is no slouch himself; his vocals are pretty good too. His vocals have this desperate and trapped aura to them, like an urbanite trapped in this jungle of steel and concrete, but they are pretty underutilised as a whole.

This is the first and final album featuring these four individuals together. After this album, Audrey burned bridges with the other three members of the group and went her own way, while the remaining three kept up with their respective projects and are still releasing great music today. Despite the band's short life and only releasing one album, what they did here ended up influencing post-black metal for the better, with some of the bands copying this style doing well enough to not be clumped as an Alcest/Amesoeur copycat.

Amesoeurs is dead, and another journey has begun.

Swallowed by the hive indeed.

Highlights: Faux Semblants, La Reine Trayeuse, Amesoeurs