Zeal and Ardor - Zeal and Ardor (2022)


When it comes to bending Metal into all kinds of weird directions, there is no other band like Zeal and Ardor. By fusing Blues, Gospel, and Soul music elements with harsher Black Metal and even some Progressive/Djent influences this outfit has delivered quite unique releases over the years. With their eponymous release the band further matures into their signature style by crafting 14 diverse and engaging tracks.

After setting a very engaging vibe in the self-titled opener track, “Run” delivers the first dynamic piece with crafty guitars and a plethora of vocal styles. Perfectly growing in momentum and delivering some heavy passages along the way, “Death to the Holy” has some of the band’s earliest elements of Bluesy Black Metal, while “Emersion” has a more Dream Pop edge that transforms into a dreamy Deafheaven-esque aggression.

Never staying still and constantly changing their ingredients, “Golden Liar” has a nice twangy Southern vibe that is nicely followed by the explosive “Erase” and its soaring clean vocal arrangements alongside harsh screams and very epic atmospherics. Bringing all elements (and weirdness) together, “Feed the Machine” and “I Caught You” are some of the heaviest and most contrasting tracks in this release, perfectly showcasing the amorphous nature of the band’s sound.

Our personal favorite tracks include the bombastic “Götterdämmerung”, and the highly emotional “Hold Your Head Low”, both quite contrasting, but completely brilliant. Further enriching their musical palette, Zeal and Ardor deliver a very unique and diverse set of songs that take a while to fully unpack and enjoy, but are brilliant nonetheless. If you are in the market for unconventional, well crafted, brilliantly produced, and definitely beyond the scope of regular Metal, this is one album you can’t miss out on.

Band: Zeal and Ardor Album: Zeal and Ardor

Label: MKVA

Release: February 11th, 2022

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Genre: Avant-garde Metal

Country: Switzerland

Rating: 93/100

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