Sylvaine: Wistful

Ethereal and acerbic ecstasy from Norway’s black metal enchantress

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Sylvaine’s sound is modelled very closely on that of France’s Alcest, a band who combine beauty and heartbreak with the harshness of black metal in a style that’s imbued with humanity and genuine emotion.

It’s difficult to ignore how similar they are and it’s equally tough to ignore the fact that Sylvaine’s music is excellent and her songwriting skilful. On the appropriately titled Wistful, she wears her heart on her sleeve with a record whose atmosphere adds a bittersweet element around stunning vocals and sombre movements. Sylvaine utilises her voice in multiple ways to create a dynamic narrative that unfurls throughout her second album.

Light, ethereal notes are contrasted with cold, harsh screams, both on the warmth of Delusions and Earthbound’s distinctly colder turn, with her striking, blackened vocal taking on a desperate, searching quality.

Ambient structures surround the gloom giving Wistful a gorgeous, sorrowful edge, leaving the record with an epic aura and the listener with no doubt that Sylvaine is a real talent.