Strange, beautiful and obliquely terrifying

Metal. Industrial. EDM. Classical. Folk. …ballroom? Welcome to the strange world of Gautier Serre, aka Igorrr, and his fourth album Spirituality and Distortion.

With a blending of musical disparity that has no legitimate right to work together, this is one of the strangest musical journeys to have unfolded so far in our strange topsy-turvy 2020 existence. Operatic soprano singing, French accordian music, Balkan polka and strings arrangements clash with blastbeats, death metal riffs, breakcore and George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher in a weird melange that not only works, it’s little short of brilliant.  Now bolstered by Metal Blade’s generous faith, Serre and his band of musical kooks must feel emboldened to try whatever they like, and they do so with a creative flair tempered by a sense of control that moves everything together in the same direction.

Igorrr has both expanded his oeuvre and refined his songwriting, branching out into Eastern excursions on tracks like Camel Dancefloor and sweeping highlight Himalaya Massive Ritual that sounds vaguely like Orphaned Land and Tarja Turunen jamming together on something epic. Carnival in Coal comes to mind on the likes of Paranoid Bulldozer Italiano and Nervous Waltz is literally a ballroom knees-up out of its mind on Ritalin. Lost in Introspection is more in the vein of Igorrr’s signature style – if there is indeed such a thing – with a blend of trip hop electronica giving way to theatrical, Baroque metal and when Fisher steps out with a blast-furnace vocal performance on Parpaing, the effect is nothing short of astounding, especially given the segue into the rural French flavoured accordian instrumental Musette Maximum. The closing track is straight-up zydeco swinger Kung-Fu Chèvre, finishing things off in the most offbeat way possible on an album that is already way left of centre.

Like something by Bungle, Carnival in Coal or, more recently, Zeal and Ardor, Spirituality and Distortion is a challenging release from a challenging artist, a strange, beautiful and obliquely terrifying vision of the inner workings of a boundless creative mind.

  1. Downgrade Desert
  2. Nervous Waltz
  3. Very Noise
  4. Hollow Tree
  5. Camel Dancefloor
  6. Parpaing
  7. Musette Maximum
  8. Himalaya Massive Ritual
  9. Lost in Introspection
  10. Overweight Poesy
  11. Paranoid Bulldozer Italiano
  12. Barocco Satani
  13. Polyphonic Rust
  14. Kung-Fu Chèvre