First of all, you need to understand that I’ve been waiting for this album for a long time. We all have. And if there’s anything that time does well, it’s turning waiting into pure unadulterated hype. And now it’s finally here.
I was really disappointed when I saw that Igorrr’s independent album Poisson Soluble disappeared from Spotify, but was at least gratified that it was done so because Igorrr had been signed to the Metal Blade label. I’m game for that, as the goal of labels is to help with promotion and getting artists payment for their work.
Besides, most of Poisson Soluble is still up on YouTube if you want to dig. It has two of my favorite tracks on it — Tartine de Contrabasse and Sorbet Aux Ongles.
Anyhow, Igorrr is a French metal-breakcore-baroquecore group spearhedded by Gautier Serre. The albums often (though not always) feature the singer Laure la Prunenec (of Corpo-Mente) and Laurent Lunoir, drummer Sylvain Bouvier, with Savage Sinusoid featuring a few other guests, such as Travis Ryan (of Cattle Decapitation) on growling and Teloch (of Mayhem) on guitar and bass.
Plus Serre’s chicken, Patrick.
A few of their previous albums are on Spotify (minus Poisson Soluble, as mentioned above), and are well worth a listen. If you need a good entry point, I suggest Damaged Wig, Vegetable Soup, Unpleasant Sonata, or, from their collab with Ruby My Dear, Barbeque.
I hope you like harpsichords and metal.
Oh, also, massive CW for flashing images on all the videos below. Each one features lots.
Making the album
One of the most interesting bits of hypebuilding for this album was the way it was introduced to us. We received a song early on — ieuD — followed by a slow trickle of music and makings-of.
The latter were some of the things I was most interested in. I spent quite a bit of time embedded in the classical world, so I knew how that worked. You wrote a thing, you arranged a premiere performance with friends (or just bribed other artists), had a concert with some recording, disseminated the recordings with links to your music, etc.
This was a little different, in that you can see all of the work that goes into production. Arranging a studio, pulling together performers, sitting in a room with a big fuck-off sound board and a billion computers…it’s all super interesting! Plus the fact that you’re done with the track when you’re done — you don’t need to hire performers or sell sheet music — always felt a little strange to me. Still, they’re doing a tour, which means they’re not completely done with everything.
I’d be curious as to how Igorrr will be performed live, but, as the description says, the album is “completely sample free”, though there’s definitely some doubling going on throughout.
Anyhow, here’s the making-of videos in one playlist (if it doesn’t show up as a playlist embedded in the page, here’s a link to it)
Spoilers follow, and are mainly an exercise in writing about music. The videos for some of the songs are included, but the text can be skipped if it’s not your bag.
The album starts harder than I was expecting with a mildly glitched metal track with (as expected) incomprehensible screaming. Pleasant thing for waking up to in the morning, I suppose! I can dig it, though, and you’ve gotta give [the singer] credit for gibberishing that fast.
This is one of the first tracks from the album that was released, complete with a ridiculous video. It leads with drunken operatics and harpsichord before heading into a mix of heavy guitars and screaming mixed with Laure Le Prunenec’s heady theatre voice. It doesn’t really kick in for me until nearly three minutes in, when the main riff settles into this really grand moment with many guitar and much drum. Ending with the recorder is simply a nice touch
Any track that opens with a hecka neat accordion riff is good by me. Lead that into bangy drums and a flat-out scream and I’m good to go. The sax is a wonderful addition above that, though I’m surprised it’s glitched as little as it is. The gibberish comes back in grand fashion, including some half-chopped warble-screams and further operatics. A good climax with double-kicks and a billion snares is good, followed by chip. The chip and a bit of good ol’ record scratch is fantastic. I’m solidly in love with the album (despite having heard some of these songs before) already.
I’m so fucking sold on accordions in metal, as is evidenced with my fascination with Alamaailman Vasarat.
This is one of the other songs which was released as a video before release. We lead with speedy break drums and rapid chords getting the occasional brush-stroke of glitching. In comes the harpsichord, because of course, which spins down a glitchy hole into the previous chord progression turned into slower metal guitars and screeching, plus some of Laure Le Prunenec’s operatics, some dissonant classical guitar, and then sitar, of all things. I love the way Laure Le Prunenec’s voice falls apart into impassioned yelling. Metal fades to mistuned voices and ends with a sudden stop.
Soft, watery piano is gently bent here and there, but mostly stands on its own, soon to be joined by solo instruments — violin, then voice, then slow, delicately glitched drums. A perfect down-tempo interlude between what have been hecka jittery tracks.
We lead with delicate classical guitar (which I suspect may be Actual Bach, but will need to look it up). With little interruption, we’re dumped into a rocky sort of drum line with metal guitars and some glitch note and grand operatics. These fade into organ and violin, which are once again interrupted by screaming and chugging guitars. I love screaming *wistful sigh*. That said, I think this is probably the weakest track by far, since it doesn’t give me much to hang my hat on. We end with further maybe-Bach.
This was another early release (though only by a few days) that came with a video. The video was, admittedly, just go-pros and cameras focused on the musicians. The drums are nice and slow as the accompany another rockin’ accordion riff. Add in some screaming (more screaming!) and drunken sing-a-longs, and we’re good to go. The accordion’s the real star, though, even though it’s accompanied by all these wonderful bits and bobs, like the plucked bass and doomful growls.
A much heavier track to follow Cheval, this one’s got speedy drums and crunchy guitars and bass. There’s plenty of signing, growling, and screaming, all touched by glitches. Another relatively weak track for me, but still helps tie things together
Va te foutre
Speedy drums, harpsichord going crazy, and crunchy bass lead this percussion-heavy track. It’s a weird mix, but it works pretty well. I’m on my speakers now, which are nice, but I suspect the balance would work better on headphones.
If I thought the track before was percussion-heavy, this is all about banging, crashing, and sharp glitches. It brings back some of that delightful sax, plus some bits of voices added here and there, before heading back into “banging on things” land. Despite its similarities to the previous track, I think this one is a lot stronger by virtue of just giving up and making it all about dem drums. Well, and percussive, staticky guitar. And glitch.
More piano! More Laure Le Prunenec! I would totally sing this as an art song at a recital, if it weren’t for the doubling, violin, guitar which come in later. Oh, and the fact that it’s by Igorrr and turns into a slow, glitched out metal song. That might be difficult to get the studio class to accept. It’s all still very well balanced, though, with the steady piano leading chugging, bass heavy guitar.
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