Review by Adam M on December 20, 2016.
Alcest has that post groove that likens them to shoegaze. There is a very subtle dynamic to the band that lifts them up off of the ground. This is due to the guitar work which is very laid back in its approach. Kodama is still very uplifting despite being so held back in its approach. It makes one feel very warm inside with its grooves and gyrations.
The songs tend towards the shoegaze genre more than any other and this is a definable trait to Alcest’s work. They now have enough albums to have established the style and seem to fit into their groove nicely here. Sure, they are verging towards the lighter side of things, but this is the most exciting type of aspect that the band is able to provide. The guitars sound very ethereal and bring upon the proper mood correctly. The atmospheric aspect to the outfit is very important because it lays the background for the rest of the music. The airy vocals complement this atmosphere nicely and add to it. The songs are so draped in mood that it’s impossible to escape from them and one becomes completely entranced in them. If there is a flaw to this recording it’s that it doesn’t stray far from the standards set from other records. There is now a very distinctive sound to what Alcest does and it is very pretty, but not much different from recording to recording. The idea that the music has a very Japanese aura with the album cover makes for a difference, but the music is still very similar to previous outings.
Still, when subtle music is being performed to such a high standard, one has to step back and take things in and let themselves be transported to a higher realm.
Overall: 8 out of 10