Amesoeurs - Ruines Humaines [EP]

01. Bonheur Amputé
02. Ruines Humaines
03. Faiblesse Des Sens

With Alcest's fresh take on mixing metal and shoegaze being universally praised and widely appreciated, it only makes sense that fans of this band would love to hear more of similar stuff. Amesoeurs is, according to main-man Neige, Alcest's more depressive and urban counterpart and the excellent EP Ruines Humaines offers us exactly that - a harsher, more gritty and extreme version of the Cocteau Twins-meets-Burzum formula that Alcest is famous for.

The history of this particular side of Neige's musical output is quite a complicated one. Alcest was supposed to be his vicious black metal outlet, whereas Amesoeurs was meant to be a post-punk band dealing with themes of isolation and urban decay. Somehow, this vision got skewed and Amesoeurs turned out to be the significantly more black metal influenced beast. The first two tracks on this EP are quite simply exquisite black metal songs with a distinctive shoegaze element, which augments the cold aesthetic of both styles and cleverly uses the dreamy melodies associated with the latter to construct innovative riff structures, breathing new life into an increasingly more stale genre. The final track, with its female vocals and rhythm-based composition, better fits the afore-mentioned post-punk direction, bringing to mind This Mortal Coil and perhaps The Cure.

All in all, albeit painfully short, I consider Ruines Humaines to be the definitive achievement in the realm of what many nowadays lovingly refer to as 'metalgaze'. Amesoeurs takes the best elements of raw black metal and shoegaze and mixes them into a stunning whole. Sadly, if we are to believe what Neige says about his future musical direction, this is also likely to be the last such hybrid, as Amesoeurs reportedly will follow the direction of the final track on this EP in the future. Then again, this was supposed to be post-punk, and Alcest was supposed to be black metal...

As far as EPs go, Ruines Humaines is one that everyone should own. The French black metal scene is one of the most intriguing right now, and this is a prime example of why the scene deserves attention. Very highly recommended.

Band profile: Amesoeurs
Album: Ruines Humaines


Written on 02.12.2007 by
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.
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Queen Of Hippies - 02.12.2007 at 20:24  
I've never liked Alcest or the other projects Neige has started. That's why I never bothered to listen to this. And I now know what I was missing (thanks to that conversation we had ). This EP is very good. The only thing I don't like is the last track with the female voice. Otherwise, the first two are perfect. Good review.
Lucas - 02.12.2007 at 21:01  
For some reason I have always loved Alcest, but never got into Amesoeurs. I will check it out again though, as I have done many times before, cause I won't to know why I don't like it (or like it better it this time.)
Spyroid - 02.12.2007 at 21:17  
I love this EP! Too bad just that this guy got so many bands but there are so few releases to listen to! I need more of this!
Not as good as Alcest, but mainly because it's to short.
FOOCK Nam - 03.12.2007 at 09:09  
Another project of Neige, gotta check out. Im really eager looking forward to listen the music you described as more depressive mixing with shoegaze.
Elio - 26.05.2009 at 16:52  
Yeah, great EP, Amesoeurs is a cool band indeed.
Skøllgrim - 21.02.2012 at 22:07  
I remember hearing "Bonheur Amputé" way back and almost shitting myself with what I heard, straight from the very beginning.
I think they should have stuck with this sort of sound rather than what we got on the album, that would be interessting to hear. Without stagnating and sounding un-inspired ofcourse.

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