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Rating:
5.5
Old Silver Key - Tales Of Wanderings
16 September 2011


01. What Once Was And Will Never Happen Again
02. November Nights Insomnia
03. Cold Spring
04. Nineteen Winters Far Away From Home
05. Star Catcher
06. Burnt Letters
07. About Which An Old House Dreams


It's quite remarkable what Neige has achieved so far with the impact he had on the whole shoegaze-meets-metal phase. Not only did he make Alcest quite a name with just a few releases, but he also contributed to many other albums where he left his mark as well. The thing is he's way too involved in this and inevitably this pretty much has led to a saturation point. In no time the scene got filled with dozens of bands that started blooming like mushrooms all over the place. Even Drudkh softened their sound so as to invest into more shoegaze/post-rock oriented pathways, without leaving their metal elements (yet) behind, though. The reason I'm making these references is a new-born project - Old Silver Key - that consists of Neige and members of Drudkh in an attempt to cleanse themselves totally from the metal aspect of their main acts.

Tales Of Wanderings is their debut album and it moves in shoegaze/post-rock soundscapes with very few moments that unfurl a near-metal vibe. And to be more precise, I mean that some passages could have been metal, but they aren't due to the lack of a heavier distortion. It's the motif that leaves such a shy impression, nothing less, nothing more. So, the big question is: do they succeed? The disappointing answer has to go like this: they could have composed a fabulous album judging from this very specific collaboration, but to my ears it feels like it didn't take much time to finish it. What I mean is, it's neither inspired nor captivating, it feels like listening to an undeniably lighter version of Handful Of Stars with one difference, the aforementioned album compared to Tales Of Wanderings feels like a masterpiece. And it's not the (absence of) metal's fault, I couldn't care less, it just feels like they were in a hurry to release it as soon as possible without taking into consideration the consequences. From the beginning it smelled like cash anyway.

It's not that bad, without implying that it's good either. It has its moments, it couldn't be that sterile. Sometimes I even receive an Anathema vibe of the A Fine Day To Exit-A Natural Disaster era. But there are also moments I get a more alternative rock oriented feeling that makes my interest fall underneath the waves ("Star Catcher" for example). The main idea is acoustic guitars, gentle and accompanying drumming, melodic or more energetic guitar chords, some interesting bass lines, few piano and/or keyboard passages and a Neige that sounds more fragile than normal, as if he got caressed by an angel and saw the world differently. Some upbeat moments break the mellow aura but they always lead to mid-tempo passages where you'd naturally expect an outbreak of bitterness. And it just doesn't feel right at all. The good thing is it's only 37 minutes but even despite its Slayer-esque duration it sounds disturbing at times; it was supposed to be dreamy. Some highlights have to be "November Nights Insomnia", "Nineteen Winters Far Away From Home", "About Which An Old House Dreams" and sparse moments here and there.

I really think Neige should take a break for a while, it would both refill his inspirational batteries and also give a bit of space for the scene to breathe. The higher the top, the harder the fall, they say.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 6
Production: 9


 



Written on 15.10.2011 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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Lokaeda - 15.10.2011 at 00:23  
Neige doesn't seem to be involved in the creation process; he is never credited as having composed anything for that album, not even written lyrics. Sounds like the guys of Drudkh did it all ^^ (I own the cd)

It's not the best cd ever, but I don't find it bad. Unlike you, I enjoyed the song "Star Catcher"

If people expect some Drudkh or some Alcest, or anything near, of course they will be disappointed. I personally feel like it goes, at times, closer to bands like Explosions In The Sky, God Is An Astronaut, Deadhorse, ... Definitely more "post-rock" than "post-metal", but I don't mind it much.

I need more spins before giving a note, but I think a 7 could do for me.
Ozman - 15.10.2011 at 00:33  
This is just a cash-in project imo. Put the names of Neige and Drudkh on it and see it sell like hot cakes.
Merchant of Doom - 15.10.2011 at 10:28  
Written by Ozman on 15.10.2011 at 00:33

This is just a cash-in project imo. Put the names of Neige and Drudkh on it and see it sell like hot cakes.


aw, these young hipsters! They just believe the hype! Take Alcest, get rid of the black metal influences, and you get this. It's a pleasant album, hardly challenging stuff...
Mikyz - 15.10.2011 at 10:57  
Written by Ozman on 15.10.2011 at 00:33

This is just a cash-in project imo. Put the names of Neige and Drudkh on it and see it sell like hot cakes.


Agreed. This is completely uninspired, it's tedious and boring. Let's just hope this isn't some kind of sign of what's to come in the post-rock/Shoegaze Metal scene.
malaikat - 15.10.2011 at 11:59  
Bottom line, it's simply boring. I'm the first to love the postmetal - black -shoegaze mashup, but this sounds like it was composed in one hour. Totaly valid rating imho.
Mr. Doctor - 15.10.2011 at 13:42  
Written by Ozman on 15.10.2011 at 00:33

This is just a cash-in project imo. Put the names of Neige and Drudkh on it and see it sell like hot cakes.


Just like that Warning album, totally for the money... xD

In all seriousness though, want to check this out but yeah... it smells money.
Milena - 15.10.2011 at 14:52  
Written by malaikat on 15.10.2011 at 11:59

Bottom line, it's simply boring. I'm the first to love the postmetal - black -shoegaze mashup, but this sounds like it was composed in one hour. Totaly valid rating imho.

I agree with both you and Der's review. I didn't hear a moment of awesomeness in this, it's just so... well, same as everything else in this realm I've heard. Neige's voice in the front only enhances that impression. I COULD listen to this, but I won't bother and will go to Alcest instead. And even Alcest tends to lack replayability for me.
tea[m]ster - 15.10.2011 at 19:21  
Disappointing comments here. looks like I'll pass on this...
Troy Killjoy - 15.10.2011 at 20:58  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.10.2011 at 13:42
In all seriousness though, want to check this out but yeah... it smells money.

People think black metal musicians like Neige hold so much weight and influence over the masses that this album will sell like hot cakes?

Apparently Neige has become the metal equivalent of Timbaland.
Mr. Doctor - 15.10.2011 at 21:07  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 15.10.2011 at 20:58

Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.10.2011 at 13:42
In all seriousness though, want to check this out but yeah... it smells money.

People think black metal musicians like Neige hold so much weight and influence over the masses that this album will sell like hot cakes?

Apparently Neige has become the metal equivalent of Timbaland.


It's either cash or seeking attention like a camho. Both of them are equally pathetic though. Niege has been jumping around projects way too much.
Troy Killjoy - 15.10.2011 at 21:12  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.10.2011 at 21:07
Niege has been jumping around projects way too much.

People only complain about musicians collaborating with a variety of bands once someone like Neige takes off in the "popularity" chart.

If he has 10 side projects going that aren't well-known, nobody says a thing. But since he's not underground and his music is reaching a wider scale, people get their panties in a wad. Because he's mainstream, a cash con, an attention whore, overrated, talentless, etc.

I'm not like, attacking anyone or whatever... I just get sick of the repetitive stereotypes.
Mr. Doctor - 15.10.2011 at 21:20  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 15.10.2011 at 21:12

rant


I understand you but my main problem is that I feel like he should wait a little bit and make something more special. Everything sounds same-ish.
Troy Killjoy - 15.10.2011 at 21:25  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.10.2011 at 21:20
I understand you...

Definitely a reasonable argument. I mean you never want to listen to a guy who's like butter being spread across too much bread. That being said, it appears as though many of his recent collaborations come in the form of contributing vocal work and not much else. Maybe he's being headhunted by other bands because they want his vision or whatever, seeing what he accomplished with Alcest, or maybe he feels like he's stagnating by going a year without having his name on something, I dunno.

But ya, I'll get around to this album eventually in spite of the review and subsequent comments - not just because it's Neige and Drudkh, but because I want something with a modern Anathema vibe and I like the whole metalgaze thing goin' on.
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.10.2011 at 23:17  
The problem here is the constant association with the exact same type of music, most of which offer little new or interesting to the scene. If you're gonna associate yourself with crap you gotta expect people to talk crap about you and this project is indeed crap ;]
Milena - 15.10.2011 at 23:42  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.10.2011 at 23:17

The problem here is the constant association with the exact same type of music, most of which offer little new or interesting to the scene.

Tru dat.

In all seriousness though, even though he's not creatively involved in this project, even slapping his vocals (nicely done though, and I love hearing English in this type of thing, I've had enough of French) on makes it sound even more same-y. I don't wanna bash the dude, but this genre he mostly single-handedly spawned offers little variation from release to release, it might require some widening so it might go on and not bore people to death. Kinda like what happened to Suomi metal - good bands, but too strict genre boundaries, so they ended up repeating themselves during the flow of one single album for one single band, let alone five bands and all their releases, so crappy and even more commercial changes of sound followed for a lot of bands. So what you get is either repetitive crap, if they stick with it, or not the real thing, if they don't.
Mr. Doctor - 16.10.2011 at 12:17  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.10.2011 at 23:17

The problem here is the constant association with the exact same type of music, most of which offer little new or interesting to the scene.


Falloch ( or should I say Fagalloch?xD) was surprisingly refreshing compared to other bands...
Troy Killjoy - 17.10.2011 at 05:13  
Okay so I did get around to hearing this a couple times and while it is a little on the "meh" side, it's still got the typical atmosphere you'd expect from a predominantly shoegaze release.

That being said, comparing it to Alcest, Starflyer 59, Swervedriver, etc. (let alone comparing it to Drudkh's latest) is bound to leave one disappointed. Even leaving out the comparisons and taking it for a stand-alone album unaffiliated with Neige and Drudkh, it's a 6.5/7 at best from me.
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.10.2011 at 13:41  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 16.10.2011 at 12:17


Falloch ( or should I say Fagalloch?xD) was surprisingly refreshing compared to other bands...

What does that have to do with Neige though? Falloch was formed by Andy Marshall who masterminded Askival, so there's no surprise about the fact it's decent (has nothing on Askival though, a much more interesting band)
Mr. Doctor - 17.10.2011 at 17:37  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.10.2011 at 13:41

Written by Mr. Doctor on 16.10.2011 at 12:17


Falloch ( or should I say Fagalloch?xD) was surprisingly refreshing compared to other bands...

What does that have to do with Neige though? Falloch was formed by Andy Marshall who masterminded Askival, so there's no surprise about the fact it's decent (has nothing on Askival though, a much more interesting band)


Nah, I was just commenting on the "music that offers little new and interesting to the genre"


.... But then I read it again and found out that yeah, it doesn't really have anything to do with the comment you posted in the first place so I failed
Oh well... I should check Askival then!
Slayer666 - 17.10.2011 at 19:48  
Yeah, a nice album if you're craving some post-shoegaze/whatever-this-genre-is, but with so much better stuff out there, why bother with it?

But if guys from Drudkh wrote this, I'm starting to get concerned about the quality and style of their future releases...
Xnoybis - 17.10.2011 at 20:41  
Written by Slayer666 on 17.10.2011 at 19:48

Yeah, a nice album if you're craving some post-shoegaze/whatever-this-genre-is, but with so much better stuff out there, why bother with it?

But if guys from Drudkh wrote this, I'm starting to get concerned about the quality and style of their future releases...


they've been on a steady, slow decline for a while. maybe this is a harbinger of their future releases, or perhaps getting it out of their system?

the $$$ cash thing is kinda funny, though. it's two "pvpulvr" ("kvlt popular) names coinciding ought to sell ones of thousands of albums.
Ozman - 17.10.2011 at 22:09  
Don't inderestimate how many albums Alcestt sells and how many people go to see Alcest gigs. That quite a bit more than ones of thousands especially concerning album sales.. I know it's weird but such is the case.

As fopr gigs... Almost no one goes there. Because it's all internet keyboard warriors going on about how much they support their fav bands but guess what? They never leave their computers and houses to attend a gig. So fuck them!!!!!!!
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.10.2011 at 22:33  
Marcel's on a drunken rage again. Somebody get the coffee.
Troy Killjoy - 17.10.2011 at 22:39  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.10.2011 at 22:33
Somebody get the coffee.

I'll get the lube.
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.10.2011 at 22:40  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.10.2011 at 22:39

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.10.2011 at 22:33
Somebody get the coffee.

I'll get the lube.

An opportunist. I like this.
Troy Killjoy - 17.10.2011 at 22:42  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.10.2011 at 22:40
An opportunist. I like this.

I'll be gentle, just like this album.
Daniell - 17.10.2011 at 22:47  
Written by Ozman on 17.10.2011 at 22:09

Don't inderestimate how many albums Alcestt sells and how many people go to see Alcest gigs. That quite a bit more than ones of thousands especially concerning album sales.. I know it's weird but such is the case.

As fopr gigs... Almost no one goes there. Because it's all internet keyboard warriors going on about how much they support their fav bands but guess what? They never leave their computers and houses to attend a gig. So fuck them!!!!!!!


This is like a bottle of tequila at least. Or ten beers.
Ozman - 17.10.2011 at 23:06  
Written by Daniell on 17.10.2011 at 22:47

Written by Ozman on 17.10.2011 at 22:09

Don't inderestimate how many albums Alcestt sells and how many people go to see Alcest gigs. That quite a bit more than ones of thousands especially concerning album sales.. I know it's weird but such is the case.

As fopr gigs... Almost no one goes there. Because it's all internet keyboard warriors going on about how much they support their fav bands but guess what? They never leave their computers and houses to attend a gig. So fuck them!!!!!!!


This is like a bottle of tequila at least. Or ten beers.



why's that? i am sure my ramblings aren't worth more than four drinks in the game.

And why do they have to drink mopre than six for me trlling thr truth?
Yugosaki - 19.10.2011 at 18:53  
It's not bad album.. i like it
Pétur - 20.10.2011 at 23:48  
One the biggest letdowns for me this year. I got high hopes for this one but it really is nothing more than a cash-in. I couldn't get trough the full thing, it's just so unoriginal and uninspired that it just leaves me so frustrated. If you listen to a lot of shoegaze outside metal you really notice how unoriginal this really is. What's supposed to resemble "childhood and warmth" resembles nothing more than lack of creativity.

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