À l'âme isn't quite as fully realized an experience as Il était, but it's still a great album on its own terms. While it doesn't lack in ambition, its execution does make it feel like a transitional affair, not quite as gripping as their former masterwork. Considering they went as far as they could within the realm of atmospheric bm with Il était, it makes a lot of sense to now attempt to shift towards a more neoclassical sound. I could easily foresee Gris becoming more and more like their french counterparts, Elend, in the future.
It took a long time for anyone to care about Il était , which is a more accessible album. I wasn't implying that it would ever be universally acclaimed. Anyway, that comment was more about the immediate reaction from angry fans of traditional black metal. Most people like it.
Funny, those comments below. If it really takes that long to appreciate it, then how can you be so sure it'll actually be appreciable after 20+ listens, or after 1-2 years? It might develop the other way around. May be everything that's going on isn't all that great after all. Either you think you have more wisdom than the rest of us, or you're assuming things that you, by your own argument, cannot yet validate.
The new album is alright but there's a lot of acoustic meandering. Almost as if they were searching for the brilliance factor of their former masterpiece without knowing how to go about it. Don't hate me bro.
gees, if you're going to write off an album as complex as this after 3 listens then you're probably in the wrong place. Il était une forêt took many, many listens before the petals peeled back far enough to really savour the journey, and I fully expect to have to listen to the new album 20+ times for the same connection to develop. It is easily as immediately interesting as Il était... but 3 listens (or 5 or 10) is not enough to grok even a third of what's going on here. Patience.
@the_poison_ivy : I asked the guy who runs Sepulchral Productions last june and he said that, yes, there were plans for a vinyl release. This fall, most probably. And not only for Gris, but for Sombres Forêts as well. :)
Exactly. "Theoretically" it could have been another Il était une forêt. But managing to pack everything what Il était une forêt had and made it so unforgettable and strong to another album in a row.. not likely. I can see why some people don't like the new release. But it not being "hopeless and painful" enough is not a reason to ditch it completelly. The new album doesn't outrun Il était une forêt for me either but it's still a damn great album.