Alcest will bring music from another world on the ARTmania Festival stage, taking place during 26- 27 July, 2019, in the Large Square of the medieval citadel of Sibiu.
Founded in 2000 by Neige (Stéphane Paut), Alcest started off as a solo black metal project, but ended up founding a while new musical subgenre, blackgaze, that features elements from black metal music and shoegaze, with a truly unique sound.
The music path of the group started with the Le Secret EP and Souvenirs D’Un Autre Monde, continued with Ecailles de Lune and Les Voyages De L’Ame, considered the foundation of the blackgaze sound (especially Le Secret). Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde, for example, surprised the fans with a total new form of expression for the metal scene, both original and controversial, generated by blending cold raw black metal and melancholic, melodic sounds with clear shoegaze elements.
In 2014, Shelter followed, a disc that marked a total change of sound, swerving from metal to a dream-pop aesthetic, something that generated strong reactions through the band’s fanbase, but it also demonstrated its ability of exploring new areas and opened the way for other musicophiles to discover its music.
Kodama (2016) marks the return to the blackgaze roots, the sound that made them famous. The songs combine poetic elements with dark approaches, all featuring the French’s duo effort of experimenting and finding surprising ways of expression. The complexity of this album can be guessed from its title. Kodama is a double meaning word in Japanese – meaning either “echo” – or ” tree of life” and it was inspired by the anime Princess Monoke (1997), directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Just like the main character of the anime, the album dissects the idea of uprooting one self and the tragic constant alternating between two contrasting worlds (represented even by the opposition city – nature physical world – spiritual world).
It is said that Alcest songs are strongly influenced by the dream world and the arsenal of symbols and sensations that it is populated with. Many of these compositions are inspired by dreams Neige had as a child – about a magical land, a sort of Fairy Land, a place of synesthesia, full of colors, sounds and shapes not present on Earth. Even the band’s name, Alcest, entails things outside this world. The name itself has no particular meaning, but Neige chose it because it sounds differently.
Neige (Stéphane Paut), the brain behind this musical project, is one of the most active musicians in the French underground culture, and over time he has brought his inspiration to bands like Peste Noire, Mortifera, Phest or Amesoeurs, to name just a few.
Passes for the 2019 edition of ARTmania Festival are already available on-line on the official website, www.artmaniafestival.ro. At the moment, there are less than 500 available passes left at the special price of 250 lei, available only until December 28, 2018. The next price category will be 290 lei, available for 2,000 passes or until March 1st, 2019.
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ARTmania Festival, the first Romanian festival that developed the idea of joining art and entertainment, is a platform dedicated to promoting all forms of artistic expression inspired by the rock culture. Over the years, ARTmania has established itself as a regional promoter of contemporary musical projects. But, ARTmania Festival does not mean just concerts from big international or local artists. Music is a base component that started everything, but it represents just a part of the experience the festival has tried to offer Romanian and international art lovers.
From the beginning, ARTmania was built as a cultural platform destined to offer the public as many events and modes of experiencing various forms of artistic expression: concerts, exhibitions, book launches or film projections. This common meeting space of artists and audience at a sound, color, image or literary level, hosted by the Large Square and by the medieval citadel, create the space where the story and magic represent, in essence, the festival spirit.
As the longest rock festival in Romania and one of the traditional brands in the regional cultural scene, ARTmania has outlined its own identity through a bold concept an a special medium: the Large Square of one of the most beautiful medieval citadels in Eastern Europe – Sibiu citadel.
ARTmania constantly explores new paths, capitalizing from previous editions, when on the festival stage a series of important bands played; from Steven Wilson Serj Tankian and Devin Townsend, to Die Toten Hosen, Nightwish, Within Temptation, HIM, Tarja Turunen, The Gathering, The Sisters of Mercy, Lacuna Coil, Helloween, Lacrimosa, Poets of the Fall or Deine Lakaien, along many others.