Les Discrets

Picture of Les Discrets

Septembre et ses dernières Pensées

Les Discrets - Septembre et ses dernières Pensées ©2010 Prophecy Productions
1. L’envol Des Corbeaux
2. L’échappée
3. Les Feuilles De L’olivier
4. Song For Mountains
5. Sur Les Quais
6. Effet De Nuit
7. Septembre Et Ses Dernières Pensées
8. Chanson D’automne
9. Svipdagr & Freyja
10. Une Matinée D’hiver

The French just do it better.

Les Discrets, the project of one Fursy Teyssier, can be seen as sort of the "sister" band to Alcest. Both bands collaborated on a split album earlier in the year, and in addition to being a former bandmate to Neige in Ameseours, Mr. Teyssier played bass for Alcest during most of the handful of live shows they played in the past year, and contributed the dark ambient "Abysses" interlude to Alcest's most recent full-length. His own baby was originally conceived as the audio equivalent to his own animation and illustration work (I heartily recommend everyone check out his "Tir Nan Og" animated short on youtube in addition to all of his artwork for other bands on his own website), and Septembre et ses dernières Pensées is the first fruit of his musical labor.

Exhibiting a brand of dark, atmospheric rock not too far removed from recent Katatonia and Anathema with a bit of that shoegazer element resting somewhere on the periphery, Les Discrets emerges as a beast all its own, with the music presenting an exact audio interpretation of the graying, sepia-toned, Ralph Bakshi-ish hues of the album's cover art and booklet. Mr. Teyssier handles almost all of the vocals and instrumentation along with contributions from Alcest/ex-Ameseours/ex-Peste Noire member Winterhalter on drums and guest-vocalist Audrey Hadorn. In terms of songwriting, Les Discrets is not out to dazzle with dizzying time changes or blunt heaviness. The mood of the music is what is most important, and Mr. Teyssier goes about it in a subdued manner, allowing simply-strummed but distorted riffs over acoustic and ambient guitar parts to tell the story, so to speak. There are some nice surprises that remind us of Fursy's black metal roots, such as the furious blast beats and tremolo riffing that close out "Les Feuilles de l’Olivier", the album's most aggressive track, but on a whole, Septembre is consistently dream-like, tasteful, and otherworldly, never letting the mood compensate for lack of songwriting chops or vice versa.

Being that Septembre et ses dernières Pensées was released at pretty much the exact same time as Alcest's Ecailles de Lune and adheres to many of the same dynamics as Neige's more erstwhile project, it can be said that Les Discrets is competing for the same space, but thankfully Les Discrets has enough of its own identity to come up with an album that is just as gorgeous and worthwhile. I look forward to hearing what this project will be bring on future releases.

Review by Alec A. Head

Review date: 12/2010

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