- Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone
- Metallic Shoegaze/post metal
Sylvaine are pegged as shoegazy back metal but it leans way more into the shoegaze. I think the BM tag is a bit much and that with Deafheaven and similar sounds becoming more popular it’s become a genre of its own that has varied expectations. It’s more post rock that takes slight elements and full aesthetic from metal. I guess metallic shoegaze? Shout out to @cottonearpromotion on instagram for post that recommended me this album.
Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone doesn’t offer any experimentation and progressing of the genre but it is executed masterfully. The clean vocals are female and high quality, reminds me of the clean vocals from Rolo Tomassi off of their latest album and sometimes goes into gothic territory without being bad, clearly she is educated or trained in some manner vocally. The unclean vocals are good too, being the majority of the black metal presence, but I think more could have been done to incorporate these vocal elements since they have much more potential for impact given the lead up generated from the singing. I feel the consistency of the clean instrument tones is a choice, and that perhaps what needed to change was the inflection of the growls to make it more a part of this theme rather than “borrowing” the theme from black metal to add on to it. Don’t get me wrong, what is there is highly listenable – I’m just seeing the potential for growth. I’ll be checking out whatever they release next to see if they heighten their direction and any improvement of this in general is a plus for me.
The guitar work really stands out to me with its cleaner almost organic tones. It does well to create a soundscape for her ethereal vocals. There’s a lot of space and time for the music to unfold so it’s perfect for studying, night walks or just remembering. There’s also a tribal element to some of the segments, like the opening title track where the drumming becomes primitive and acoustic sounding with psychedelic notes are being held by the guitars and vocalist. A really great build up. Morklagt is another standout track where they use black metal guitar techniques like the tremolo picking but keep the gain right down, a lot of what Agalloch did. There are definitely some moments that border on long silence where I begin to lose interest in later tracks until being won back over by the final track.
The artwork is a nice piece of detailed work that fits post rock perfectly. It does what album covers theoretically are supposed to do and that’s describe the music. There’s the same level of detail and melancholy in the music, but also the same shades throughout. I can’t find who did the art, for christ sake bands and labels (Come on Season Of Mist), promote your designers. Put it on the bandcamp and the websites. Tag them on insta. I want to know who they are and other metal bands are always looking to commission art.
I’m glad I listened to it and I can definitely see this being a solid 8 or 9 for many fans of shoegaze and post metal alike. When it comes to metal orientated music female vocals can very easily be done wrong or obnoxiously but Sylvaine show a lot of restraint and pacing that sets is apart from what is typical. A good one for the music nerds who know more about theory than I do.