Shelter, the new album from the French atmospheric black metal veterans Alcest, isn’t a metal album at all. Instead, it’s a straight-up shoegaze record, and a gorgeous one at that, all gummy streaks of guitar and melody. Beauty is the chief concern here, all the sounds melt into each other, and at no point do you get the sense that a demon is screaming at you from some lost dimension. It’s a beautiful album, and it recently caused our own Michael Nelson to contemplate, at eloquent length, what it even means to be metal. (We also posted the band’s “Opale” video.) And now you can, and should, stream the entire album at Pitchfork. It’s pretty. Do it.
Shelter is out 1/21 on Prophecy.