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LIVE REVIEW: Mono + Alcest @ The Marble Factory, Bristol

Featuring two of the most prolific post-rock acts on the planet, this co-headliner was always setting up to be something magical. With SINISTRO opening for them, MONO and ALCEST get set to deliver one of the years most captivating performances.

Portuguese Doom merchants SINISTRO open up tonight’s show with ample heaviness. Their sound is crushing and begins with minimal fuss, as the riffs slowly trudge along and fill the room instantly. Whilst the sound is heavy, it doesn’t take much for the instruments to mesh together and render the beautiful female vocals almost inaudible at times. Perhaps being an odd choice to open-up tonight, SINISTRO do their best with what they’ve been given and when the music does open up, the dynamics are all their but just continue to be drowned out by the thunderous guitars.

Rating: 6/10

For a while now ALCEST have been at the forefront of the blackgaze genre and whilst still producing music they remain an active force within the industry. Kodama, released this year, was a spellbinding if creatively backwards release compared to their previous outing on Shelter, but the new songs sound incredibly natural live and sit comfortably next to their repertoire. The set is balanced fantastically and features cuts from every album, including two from the brilliant Ecailles De Lune and four from this years release. Whilst their most to end their show. By the time the captivating set comes to a close and Neige is left alone on stage the whole crowd erupt in deafening applause and show just how beloved ALCEST have become over their years and years of innovation and emotive creation.

Where ALCEST were able to captivate, MONO struggle to gain traction in the opening moments of their show. The slow swell of guitars and bass is ponderous and deliberate but when it eventually hits the final explosion, the sound quickly muddies into a laborious and cacophonous sound that becomes hard to decipher. Whilst the opening moments of Death in Rebirth are certainly emotive and often times relaxing, the music takes a long time to truly begin to take form. Their music is thoughtful and has more than a few relations to the classical orchestras of old, and the maturity of the music is truly reflected in the reactions and behaviour of the crowd, as not a single person produces their phone to record the show. This is perhaps the most refreshing sight of all, to see a packed out venue all captivated by the performance at hand.

Rating: 7/10

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