Zeal & Ardor - s/t [2LP]

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There are very few bands that can take diverse elements from a wealth of musical styles and blend them in a way that creates something new and compelling. Swiss experimental metal duo Zeal & Ardor, consisting of frontman and multi-instrumentalist Manuel Gagneux and drummer Marco Von Allmen, are one of them. Their self-titled third studio album – released 11 February – is a testament to their exceptionally original craftsmanship.

The band’s unique sound may be best described as blues and soul-infused black metal – styles not commonly associated with each other. Over the 14 tracks, stomping grooves and articulated blast beats coincide with elegant keys and programmed drums. Searing riffs and heavy chugs sit comfortably with wet melodies and vibrant synths. Versatile vocals effortlessly switch between inflected cleans and brutal growls, with rap-influenced rhymes of justifiable rage and self-empowerment.

1. Zeal & Ardor
2. Run
3. Death To The Holy
4. Emersion
5. Golden Liar
6. Erase
7. Bow
8. Feed The Machine
9. I Caught You
10. Church Burns
11. Götterdämmerung
12. Hold Your Head Low
13. J-M-B
14. A-H-I-L