ARTIST:

ZEAL & ARDOR

(UNITED STATES)
TITLE:

ZEAL & ARDOR

(2022)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

ALTERNATIVE METAL

TAGS:
Experimental, Fusion, Screaming vocals
"Zeal & Ardor continues the exploration of its avant-garde metal. The surprise effect is over but the fascination remains intact."
NEWF (13.05.2022)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

In only two albums, Zeal & Ardor has become a recognized project on the small avant-garde metal scene. All the credit goes to Manuel Gagneux, its founder, who, by his talent and his perspicacity to understand all the potential of his music, knew how to capture the interest and gain the respect of metalheads in search of novelty. A novelty which, with this third album soberly entitled "Zeal & Ardor", is a bit blunted, in spite of its unaltered power of seduction.

As on "Devil Is Fine" and "Stranger Fruit", the Swiss band has fun mixing genres and making big musical gaps as daring as stimulating. No doubt, the mix between black metal and negro spirituals still works well but, the surprise effect being now over, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the tracks that are Zeal & Ardor's trademark ('Run', 'Bow') and those that are a bit redundant ('Feed The Machine', 'Church Burns').

Fortunately, Manuel Gagneux is a brilliant composer and he knows very well that his musical territory, as original as it is, needs to go out of its borders to continue to seduce. On "Zeal & Ardor", the novelty is the more marked exploration than before of the sound colors of the indus metal. This is the case on the huge 'Death To The Holy' and its Nine Inch Nails-like atmosphere, and on the powerful 'I Caught You' and 'Götterdämmerung'.

But it is especially when the melody is combined with power and fervor that Zeal & Ardor becomes absolutely irresistible. Tracks like the brilliant 'Emersion', which reminds us of the frenzy of a Devin Townsend, or the fascinating 'Hold Your Head Low', which cheerfully combines melodic death and satanic blues in the style of Me And That Man, are there to remind us how Manuel Gagneux has no equal when it comes to expressing the rage and despair that are the main ingredients of his music.

This rage expressed by the literally inhabited vocals of the multi-instrumentalist takes here clearly the step on the melancholy which crossed "Stranger Fruit". This is probably the main evolution of Zeal & Ardor's music on this new album, and it is also what makes it less endearing than the previous one. But if the originality of the beginnings is not really there anymore, Zeal & Ardor remains one of the most interesting metal projects of these last years. 


More informations on http://www.zealandardor.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Zeal & Ardor
02. Run
03. Death To The Holy
04. Emersion
05. Golden Liar
06. Erase
07. Bow
08. Feed The Machine
09. I Caught You
10. Church Burns
11. Götterdämmerung
12. Hold Your Head Low
13. J-M-B
14. A-H-I-L

LINEUP:
Manuel Gagneux: Chant / Guitares / Basse / Claviers
Marco Von Allmen: Batterie
   
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