Montreal duo Oktoplut is a band that defies easy categorization. Made up of Mathieu “Mathias” Forcier on guitars / vocals and Laurence “Larry” Fréchette on drums / vocals, the band’s sophomore full-length LP, Le Démon Normal, essentially plays out like someone hit shuffle on the duo’s personal playlists, incorporating a range of heavy rock sounds and styles throughout its 41-minute running time.
Opening track “Héros ou Ennemi” sounds ready for modern alt-rock radio, with its huge crunchy guitars and catchy vocal lines that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Foo Fighters album (apart from the French lyrics). That opening bombast is immediately followed by the moody “Errer,” a mid-paced, slow-burner of a track that would likely serve as an album closer for almost any other band.
That unpredictability is what makes Le Démon Normal such an invigorating listen. From the hyperactive hardcore attack of “Déposséder,” which brings to mind vintage Converge, to “Fragments,” which features the best riff Torche never recorded, Oktoplut seem entirely unconcerned with settling down into any one particular genre for too long.
That musical freedom reaches its zenith on the epic 3-part album suite of “Océan 1” / “Océan 2” & “Océan 3,” a sweeping hard rock saga that almost serves as it’s own mini album.
Le Démon Normal wipes the slate clean for Oktoplut, showcasing their wide range of styles and opening up countless possible paths for them to go down in the future. It’s a completely unpredictable and invigorating listen that serves as a great distillation of the band’s myriad influences.