Every now and then, I get introduced to a record that floors me. French cross-genre masters Igorrr are preparing the release of one such album. Spirituality and Distortion, out March 27, 2020 on Metal Blade Records, will blow your mind.
Igorrr is an acquired taste. Mastermind and vocalist Gautier Serre is known for breaking genre boundaries. The follow-up to 2017’s Savage Sinusoid can be classified as metal, but it also defies that classification. Serre and his band, along with exciting guest artists, have incorporated electronic music, death metal, black metal, opera, tango, baroque and folk elements into Spirituality and Distortion. It makes for an unsettling, brutal experience fit only for those with experience listening to various genres of metal and electronic music.
Igorrr fans, were you excited by the brief but ballsy single “Very Noise” (out now)? Just wait. You’re in for a trip.
As all good experimental music should, Spirituality and Distortion starts in an unexpected way. The very first notes on this record are courtesy of oud player Mehdi Haddab, of Speed Caravan. His middle-eastern sounds quickly blends in with a massive black metal track featuring the haunting chants of Laure Le Prunenec. She also shines vocally on “Hollow Tree.”
Speaking of which, when is the last time you heard an actual harpsichord being used as a lead instrument on a modern record? If you’re experiencing a harpsichord craving, all you need to do is listen to the excellent technique of harpsichordist Benjamin Bardiaux in “Hollow Tree!”
Igorrr gets baroque, but they also get absolutely balls-to-the-wall brutal. Enter renowned Cannibal Corpse vocalist George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher, who is featured on “Parpaing.” Igorrr’s press release describes Corpsegrinder as being “like the final boss of death metal.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I won’t try. His performance on “Parpaing” is nothing short of epic.
Brutality bleeds into double pedal prowess in a curious contrast of songs… “Musette Maximum” brought a big, stupid smile to my face! The last time I heard circus-sounding music in a metal album was years ago, during my uneXpect trip. It brings back excellent memories.
As is the signature of so many great records, Spirituality and Distortion ends on an extended high note. Pre-climactic song “Barocco Satani” gives way to the monstrously heavy “Polyphonic Rust,” followed by an oddly upbeat and funky closing track, “Kung-Fu Chèvre.” There is some very nice funky keyboard work here intertwined with blast beats. Who knew that was possible? Igorrr did. Listen to this album when it comes out, you won’t regret it.
Written by Henri
*Edited by Dominic Abate