» Blog Archive Deeper Underground: Sylvaine's Fresh Take On Post-Metal -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Reviews, Streaming

SylvaineOriginality isn’t just rooted in some new sound an artist creates. Oftentimes, the simplest change in instrumentation is enough to make a band with a familiar sound become fresh to the listener of a genre that’s been long played out and often mimicked countless times. Take Beyond Creation, for example: not only is their songwriting tight, but that emphasis on a fretless bass and instrumental sections gave tech death the kick in the teeth it needed.

Moving away from tech death, let’s introduce Sylvaine. Sylvaine is a post-rock/metal/shoegaze/whatever you’ll call it project founded by a woman of the same name. Already, the odds are stacked against her, because most of the time people in this style of music go out of their way to ape Alcest, often to just fail spectacularly. By that, I mean the albums are boring, drawn out, and hold no excitement or diversity at all. Sylvaine, fortunately, overcomes all of that with her second album, Wistful, and then some. Even Neige from Alcest has been helping perform these songs live with Sylvaine, so if that isn’t the extra seal of approval, I don’t know what is.

Actually listening to the album, though, makes it clear that Sylvaine may fit with Alcest but never succumbs to being a replica of the band in question. Rather, Sylvaine does things tastefully and with good reason by never forcing ideas and letting the music flow naturally. “Earthbound” contrasts that of opening track “Delusions,” in that it exchanges the dreamscape-like, low dynamic nature of its predecessor, pushing the tempo and exchanging dissonant chords for softer sequences, giving the song levels of varying dynamics throughout. This low-key black metal influence never runs rampant, however, Sylvaine only brings what’s necessary to each song; one might find that any other artist would have attempted to find a way to fit black metal shrieks into “Like a Moth to a Flame,” but that isn’t the case here. Nothing on this album is forced and everything feels as it should be.

Sylvaine is definitely a novelty in the scene she is writing music for. Coupling natural songwriting and a sense of individuality, post-rock and metal can definitely breathe a sigh of relief as another noteworthy act makes a name for herself. You can purchase Wistful on Sylvaine’s Bandcamp, as well as her first album, Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart.


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