After having reviewed Zeal & Ardors previous album Stranger fruit back in 2018 I knew I was in for something pretty special with their latest offering, a self-titled album to cement their reputation and drive home their unique, individual sound.
What you tend to get is a snapshot of the mind of the gent behind the project, Manuel Gagenux and his blistering approach to songwriting. You never quite know where one track will take you to the next, constantly challenging you as the listener to be there in the moment every second of the way. From hefty riffage and guttural screaming vocals to Gospel infused melodies interlaced with Thrash-esque guitar work you better have your mind wide open for this crazy sonic ride.
Walk-in and out of the room and you’ll think someone has changed the album on you as Manuel and co majestically flicker between personas and envelope you in their surreal, melodic and cinematic soundscape. The subtle nuances that creep in and out of the songs really add to the attention to detail that the guys have meticulously embedded in the tracks, adding layer upon layer to the songs to build them up to a crescendo in an emotive tidal wave that he plucks away from you in a heartbeat.
No sooner are you catching your breath than you are plummeted into another heart wrenching sonic assault!
Not for the faint-hearted, but one for the independent thinkers out there who can appreciate individual expression taken to the limit.
Zeal & Ardor is an absolute beauty of an album.
The album drops this coming Friday Feb11th courtesy of MVKA.
‘Zeal & Ardor’ will be available in the following formats:
140g black vinyl
140g white vinyl (indie store exclusive)
180g 45rpm, double black vinyl, gatefold sleeve (deluxe)
Zeal & Ardor recently concluded an extensive US trek with rock goliaths Mastodon and Opeth. The band land on UK shores in May/June 2022, as special guests to Meshuggah. Tickets are on sale now for the following shows, including an unmissable night at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Thu 26th May – NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Sat 28th May – MANCHESTER Academy
Sun 29th May – BRISTOL O2 Academy
Mon 30th May – GLASGOW Barrowlands
Wed 1st Jun – DUBLIN Olympia
Fri 3rd Jun – LONDON Royal Albert Hall
No stranger to festivals (having performed at everything from the Montreux Jazz Festival, to Download, Lowlands, Wacken, Reading & Leeds, The Great Escape, Primavera Sound, and more), Zeal & Ardor are also confirmed for Hellfest and Graspop in 2022, and most recently confirmed, the UK’s ArcTanGent festival in August 2022, with more festival dates expected.