Heavy Song of the Week: Alcest Unfurl Shimmering Melodies on “Flamme Jumelle”

Heavy Song of the Week is a feature on Heavy Consequence breaking down the top metal and hard rock tracks you need to hear every Friday. This week, the top song goes to “Flamme Jumelle” by Alcest.

Alcest are one of the best examples of black metal’s evolution as a genre, as artists continue to innovate within its binding framework.

In regards to Alcest, the French band began as a more blasty atmospheric BM act, but it quickly became apparent that the duo of Neige and drummer Winterhalter had an affinity for beautiful melodies. Raw black metal wasn’t necessarily conducive to that, so the music began to take the shape of adjacent genres like shoegaze and dream pop, influencing the like-minded Deafheaven. That unique sound is heard on Alcest’s latest single, “Flamme Jumelle.”

Jangly guitars and pleasing tenor vocals float and soar throughout the mix, and the band gets just heavy enough during the chorus to both qualify for this column and shift the dynamics in a natural and effective way. Alcest’s new album Les Chants De L’Aurore drops June 21st, and it will surely hold more “pretty metal” such as this.

Honorable Mentions:

Gatecreeper – “Masterpiece of Chaos”

Putting “masterpiece” in your song title is a bold move, and while such a descriptor might be a bit ambitious for Gatecreeper’s latest single, it’s still a thrilling and very live-sounding slice of OSDM worship. The stomp-around-the-pit opening breakdown immediately gets the head nodding, setting up the grindy gurgly goodness to follow.

Inter Arma – “Desolation Harp”

“Desolation Harp” is a four-minute extreme metal stew. Sludge, black metal, and death doom coalesce seamlessly, as Inter Arma continue to defy any half-assed compartmentalization. There’s a psychedelic swirl to this track that’s transfixing, giving us high hopes for the band’s new album, New Heaven, arriving April 26th.

Night Sins – Silver Blade

Gary Numan synths and Depeche Mode gloom exude from this cut from Philly goth rockers Night Sins. Deep, sultry vocals ride beneath aforementioned synths and a staunch guitar line that would be at home on R.E.M.’s Murmur. If any of those references trigger a positive response, you’ll find something satiating here.