Sairen is my new favourite musical discovery. His music impressed me before I even started to listen to it. Any Frenchman described as “a music composer who draws influence from classical compositions and blurs that line between post-rock and metal” is bound to know what the hell they’re doing. Neige Nuit satisfied even my highest of expectations. The 40-minute album is filled with both electric and orchestral instrumentation, and pieced together in such a way that truly makes the whole thing feel like a modern symphony.
The whole record simply sounds hauntingly wonderful. From the opener, “Vortex Lyne,” which has a slow start that builds to an explosive climax during its seven-minute runtime, to the much calmer “Nordvarme” and “Shield Of Light,” which comparatively doesn’t move everywhere, but still showcases such beauty in its instrumentation. The sounds are so rich and vivid that it makes the whole album an emotional experience.
If I could fault this album for absolutely anything, it would be that, although Sairen draws influence from post-rock, heavy metal, and classical music, the material on this album all tends to fall in a very small area between those three drastically different categories with little wiggle room. I wish there would be a significant amount of pull one way or the other to differentiate these songs and to help Sairen showcase just how flexible his compositions can be. A lot of this album relies on clean, arpeggiated triplets moving through unconventional chord progressions to tie song sections together, while the rest of the instruments slowly build up to a song’s climax. I suppose it’s easy to fault anything relating to post-rock to be a bit formulaic, but Sairen certainly left a lot of room on Neige Nuit that’s yet to be explored.
Although I can fault the album for it’s lack of differentiating tracks, I’d much prefer to look at this not as a eight-track LP with a lot of repetition, but rather as a symphony, filled with movements, and reoccurring motifs, which all contribute to a sound that’s made to be repeated on multiple occasions. Although that may not have exactly been the artist’s intention, it certainly makes Neige Nuit a more immersive listening experience, for me anyway. It’s a symphony for the 21st century, made by the 21st century. One of the most beautifully crafted albums I’ve heard in recent memory.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Danielle Kenedy