French shoegaze band Alcest has taken many forms, but always with founder and creative leader Stéphane Paut, also known as Neige, at its center. Alcest was born in 2000 as a solo project, which Neige used as a black metal outlet. The one-man act soon became a trio with the addition of a bassist and guitarist, who both left the band shortly after the release of its first demo in 2001. Looking to change the band's style, Neige began releasing shoegaze music inspired by rock and metal. He continued to release music, including the 2007 debut album Souvenirs d'un autre monde, as the sole member of Alcest until 2009, when Les Discrets drummer Winterhalter joined the lineup. The duo released Alcest's second and third album, Écailles de Lune and Les Voyages de l'Âme, in 2010 and 2012 respectively.