It’s been a strange couple months for grumpy ole Grier. I’ve reviewed everything from cowpunk to Swedish black metal to non-metal/metal avant-garde to captivating power/melodeath. But, for all the ups-and-downs that come with this crazy rollercoaster ride, never am I more brain-fucked as when a new Igorrr record arrives in my inbox. If you don’t know who Igorrr is, do yourself a favor and head over to their Bandcamp page. Because there’s no accurate way to describe them. In some few hundred words, I will attempt to describe the chaos that is Gautier Serre and his merry misfits. But, those familiar with the band know how futile it is. With Laurent Lunior’s vicious shrieks. Laure Le Prunenec’s beautiful operatics, and Sylvain Bouvier’s slick drumming at his side, Serre takes you on a remarkable journey. One that required minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years to complete. And the result is Igorrr‘s best record to date.
As you settle into Savage Sinusoid, one thing becomes clear. This is the most “accessible” album the band has ever written. I don’t want anyone to think I’m insulting these fine Frenchmen. Quite the contrary. What I mean to point out is the fullness and richness of this new record. Where previous records, in a sense, subject the listener to their own brand of “shock value,” this new record focuses on cohesion and song structure more than ever before. But, the Igorrr weirdness remains.
Opener “Vivande” unleashes a few blood-curdling screams before stomping a new hole in your ass. The death riff that tears through you is like Ministry-meets-grind-meets-industrial death, with Lunior’s incoherent rasps barking along like Hank Williams III‘s hound dog (OK, not quite that bad). It’s a damn good way to get things rolling and is one of my favorite on the album. Other deathy numbers include the skull-fucking “Apopathodiaphulatophobie” and instrumental “Va te Foutre.” The former uses the voices of Lunior, Le Prunenec, and Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation) to the max; smashing, barking, screaming, and pulverizing your throbbing, thinking muscle. The latter is straight-up death beast that is all about the bass, drums, and guitars. These three songs standout for their simplicity and lack of overdoing it—none of them being more than two minutes in length.
The rest of the album—as one would expect—is pure chaos. Songs like “ieuD,” “Houmous,” and “Cheval” are about as Igorrr as it gets. They wreck you with piano, accordion, saxophone, beautiful acoustic guitars, screaming male vocals, angelic female opera vox, and drums more devastating than cancer. But, “Houmous” has it all. And, somehow, every element meshes. After opening with an accordion lick that just beats out the one on “Cheval,” the song weaves in and out of chunky riffs and screams before the sax arrives. OK, I know it sounds absurd, but it actually has some insanely talented performances. Not to mention the Spanish-styled guitars in the middle and the angelic vocals at the end. After a cluck from our good friend Patrick, the song finally ends with one ridiculous outro. I don’t wanna give it away, but it’s insane and the old gals and guys out there are gonna laugh their asses off.
“Cheval” is equally insane. It’s opening accordion sends me out onto the streets of 19th century France, with Owen Wilson as my companion. Except, this time, Lunior and Travis Ryan are screaming shit into my ear the whole time. It’s a fucking trip, but one worth hearing (and seeing). The road trip also includes visits to the harpsichord hell of “ieuD” and the piano-driven “Problème d’émotion.” The former alternates between beauty and aggression, while the latter combines Ava Inferi with the haunting soundtrack of the movie Ravenous. The gorgeous twists of “Problème d’émotion” are found in spades on “Spaghetti Forever” and the Bach-ish closer “Au Revoir.” For all the beauty these tracks provide, don’t forget this is still Igorrr. Savagery riddles “Spaghetti Forever,” while slick guitar groove pushes the album closer to its max. Perhaps my favorite track on the album, “Au Revoir” is also the most accessible. It’s a beautiful piece that turns out to be shocking by not shocking at all.
Well, it’s been several hundred words and I still don’t feel I did the band justice. Savage Sinusoid has to be experienced. The songwriting is downright schizophrenic and the moods are both silly and abrasive. Upon the first listen, I expected to have a hard time returning to Savage Sinusoid. But, the opposite happened. You can tell the band put in a ton of work and every decision made is painstakingly calculated. But, no matter how much I praise Savage Sinusoid, Igorrr are weird as shit. And, you either love them or hate them. Their music has always sent the weak-minded into a homicidal frenzy and Savage Sinusoid is no different. So, if you’re willing to give it a try, take off your hat, bend your head over, and let the penetration begin.