Igorrr is the handle of French multi-instrumentalist Gautier Serra, who revealed in an interview with oeticket that he has a condition known as synesthesia. As such, he perceives music as colors, and given his knack for blending several different genres that perhaps should not go together, his work under the Igorrr label is a stew of post-genre mania. Upon expanding to a full band in 2017, the musical depth only grew, with Metal Injection giving Igorrr’s Savage Sinusoid album their “Bat Shit Crazy Album of the Year” award.
With their latest disc, Spirituality and Distortion, all bets are off. Even if the band is signed to Metal Blade, I would caution the more diehard metal fans before turning this album on. That’s not due to the quality (quite the opposite, it’s fantastic, but we’ll get there in a bit), but rather because there is a hell of a lot going on here. At times it is a metal album, but then in others there are elements of folk, breakbeat, baroque, and a mish-mash of other styles that run the gauntlet of musical mayhem. It is so busy, so jam-packed, but somehow it all comes together to not only competence, but outright excellence.
The first track I heard from this album is “Camel Dancefloor,” and it is definitely the type of song you show to your friends to get across the crazy genius of Igorrr and this record. It has a folk-style riff, backed by trap hi-hats and a whole lot of bass-heavy EDM. It may be the least metal-sounding track on the album, but again, going into this experience looking for a metal record is going to leave an odd taste in your mouth. For that, you’ll need something more like “Overweight Poesy” or “Polyphonic Rust.”
That said, when things get metal, they aren’t likely to stay that way for very long. On “Musette Maximum,” the polka staple accordion takes over after several spots of blast beats. Sub accordion for chiptune, and you have the basic premise of “Parpaing.” The biggest moment of aural diversity comes with the album’s opener “Downgrade Desert,” with a sort of Arabian folk riff giving way to slow-burn metal, ending on blast beats and other very nice, very kvlt things.
At several points in my first couple of listens, I felt like taking notes on what I was listening to was pointless. This is the kind of album to listen to for yourself. It is high-concept, multi-faceted music, and as pretentious as that may sound, it stands up here. Igorrr is something to behold, and Spirituality and Distortion is a great point of first contact for those so inclined.