Zeal And Ardor - Devil Is Fine review



Reviewer:
9.5

108 users:
8.02
Band: Zeal And Ardor
Album: Devil Is Fine
Release date: April 2016


01. Devil Is Fine
02. In Ashes
03. Sacrilegium I
04. Come On Down
05. Children's Summon
06. Sacrilegium II
07. Blood In The River
08. What Is A Killer Like You Gonna Do Here?
09. Sacrliegium III


Once in a while there comes a time when new ways open up for music. Frontiers are being torn down and ideas can stream freely, going on a journey that takes them through many discussions and lets the creator experience both hatred and admiration. It always takes its time until a new sound is essentially established and the occasions where one can witness the birth of a new style are rare. So we are truly fortunate drunkards to live in the time where Zeal And Ardor release their second album to date, Devil Is Fine.

Everyone has probably heard of the slave music of African American people, called spirituals. And most people that are reading this review now (that includes you!) should at least once have been in contact with black metal yet. Even though spirituals are in a way also "black" by nature, those two genres couldn't have a greater distance in-between them, at least that's what most people thought until now. Now Zeal And Ardor come along and merge them in a way that feels like something has been missing all the time. Actually, they even add a third ingredient to the melting pot, namely electronic and ambient music.

But let's get more into details. Most songs on Devil Is Fine are based on the spiritual-like chorals sung by mastermind Manuel Gagneux, using a loud and clipping sound level to get a certain retro sound in a natural way. This is then paired with modern guitars, bass and drums in a (black) metal style, using heavy riffs, tremolo picking, double bass etc. Some occasional shrieks are thrown in and synth melodies complete the picture. But wait, there's more. Looking for pseudo prayer call like one knows from the muezzins, a bluesy '60s guitar solo or techno beats? Here you get it all. And all of it is done incredibly well, giving so many different feelings to the only 24 minutes of the record that one could arguably say there is more content and value than in many hour long albums.

The tracks are rather short but I suppose that's the only way they properly work, making each piece a distinct and unique approach to this style. Another interesting point are the lyrics. What sounds like holy and godlike gospel themes is in fact of truly satanic meaning, where Gagneux sings of praising the devil and the death of people. The funny thing is that at first sight that's not obvious at all, for the vocals itself act like it's all perfectly natural and spirituals have always been satanic. Best line in my opinion is the rhythmic "The riverbed will run red with the blood of the saints and the blood of the holy".

As a conclusion, Zeal And Ardor are without doubt contenders for the album of the year, although I don't know in which category. But it certainly won't get any blacker than that. Now I better get my humor back on the cotton fields.


 



Written on 08.07.2016 by "The future is not guaranteed, all we have is today.
And Today, we have Metal." - Karl Sanders


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 41   Visited by: 453 users
13.07.2016 - 17:59
psykometal
A staff guy...
Thank you, Cynic.

Also, Luci and Danny, edit your nested quotes. It's completely unnecessary for that much of the previous conversation to be re-posted. Edit your quotes down so that only the last part comes through.
----
~Zep, Database and Forum Moderation~

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14.07.2016 - 13:05
Lardypants
I'm not sure what to make of this album, I bought it on google play when i saw the score of 9.5. I'm not sold, I'm not even sure its metal.
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14.07.2016 - 13:34
qnick90
It is not perfect (the production!) and few songs sound like fillers to me, but overall, I needed something like this, since i´ve first heard Remmirath... Yeah it is refreshing and interesting, but more than a little bit hipsterish too. For instance tak a last Mgła album - it is great and very solid BM, but nothing new to the genre. So I would say that we need those kind of hipsters, just to feel refreshed for a while...
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14.07.2016 - 16:48
Parawhore
I really thought this album sounded cool in concept, but I thought the execution of the genre-blending, especially with the hip-hop, just felt lifeless and stale.
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16.07.2016 - 06:40
LordAsterion
Thank you for the review, and introducing this band. This is really good music!
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16.07.2016 - 08:52
Alondate
Thank you for introducing this wonderful band. Sounds incredible
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28.07.2016 - 11:13
Sphynx
Really good album. Very impressive and creative.
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30.08.2016 - 00:14
ANCIENT SKIN
Let us get one thing straight here...look at this guys history....he wasnt into black metal.....he does POP music.....he ripped off other REAL black metal blues artist like Dreadlords...and people think he is this great thing.....typical sheep trend shit. Sad.........
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30.08.2016 - 01:08
Vombatus
Potorro
Written by ANCIENT SKIN on 30.08.2016 at 00:14

Let us get one thing straight here...look at this guys history....he wasnt into black metal.....he does POP music.....he ripped off other REAL black metal blues artist like Dreadlords...and people think he is this great thing.....typical sheep trend shit. Sad.........


If in the past he play this or that kind of music doesn't really prevent anyone from trying another genre. I suppose he is still allowed to play BM if he wants to.

Problem is that this isn't even BM. I gave quite a few more spins as it is short and easy to digest but I fail to see any reason to join the hype train.

As I said, there is hardly any BM in it, hell, metal is hardly even predominant. This isn't necessarily bad but the metal parts aren't interesting (bland riffs and standard drum-programming. Meh!), feels very disjoint and sort of a mashup of rushed or unfinished ideas, and even manages to add some filler in such short time.

I do think this guy has some potential for electro music (Sacrilegium I is a great tune!) or blues (title track and Blood in the river). Overall just leaves a big "MEH" feeling on me but I can understand that some people get impressed because it's "avant-garde & shit" and ends up totally overrated.
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30.08.2016 - 22:24
ANCIENT SKIN
Written by Vombatus on 30.08.2016 at 01:08

Written by ANCIENT SKIN on 30.08.2016 at 00:14

Let us get one thing straight here...look at this guys history....he wasnt into black metal.....he does POP music.....he ripped off other REAL black metal blues artist like Dreadlords...and people think he is this great thing.....typical sheep trend shit. Sad.........


If in the past he play this or that kind of music doesn't really prevent anyone from trying another genre. I suppose he is still allowed to play BM if he wants to.

Problem is that this isn't even BM. I gave quite a few more spins as it is short and easy to digest but I fail to see any reason to join the hype train.

As I said, there is hardly any BM in it, hell, metal is hardly even predominant. This isn't necessarily bad but the metal parts aren't interesting (bland riffs and standard drum-programming. Meh!), feels very disjoint and sort of a mashup of rushed or unfinished ideas, and even manages to add some filler in such short time.

I do think this guy has some potential for electro music (Sacrilegium I is a great tune!) or blues (title track and Blood in the river). Overall just leaves a big "MEH" feeling on me but I can understand that some people get impressed because it's "avant-garde & shit" and ends up totally overrated.


Agreed...way overated, and also agree its good to try something new. That Dreadlords band, is members of T.O.M.B. and they are Black Metal/noise. But they were the first band I saw and heard doing this black metal blues thing. I saw them several years ago at CMJ in NYC, and when I read Z+A interviews, its like he took words right out of their mouths when talking about his music. Z+A also mentioned how he was into blackmetal for years, but again past projects/released he did never mentioned that influence and not even close to getting the same attention as this. It also funny that SACRILEGIUM is also a T.O.M.B. release done years ago. Just funny.... what I would real like to see is Dreadlords and Zeal and Ardor do a show together......but doubt that would happen... Z+A seems not to be able to do his material live. That would be a real bill to see!!!
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31.08.2016 - 02:55
Vombatus
Potorro
Written by ANCIENT SKIN on 30.08.2016 at 22:24

Agreed...way overated, and also agree its good to try something new. That Dreadlords band, is members of T.O.M.B. and they are Black Metal/noise. But they were the first band I saw and heard doing this black metal blues thing. I saw them several years ago at CMJ in NYC, and when I read Z+A interviews, its like he took words right out of their mouths when talking about his music. Z+A also mentioned how he was into blackmetal for years, but again past projects/released he did never mentioned that influence and not even close to getting the same attention as this. It also funny that SACRILEGIUM is also a T.O.M.B. release done years ago. Just funny.... what I would real like to see is Dreadlords and Zeal and Ardor do a show together......but doubt that would happen... Z+A seems not to be able to do his material live. That would be a real bill to see!!!


I'm only a bit familiar with both Dreadlords and T.O.M.B. (looking forward to the new album with Hellhammer!) but didn't really think of a link with Z&A. Could see a common bluesy idea, but they do sound quite different. Z&A is way too electro but also disjoint and inconsistent album wise compared to Dreadlords.
Also read an interview about the Z&A guy saying he was contemplating a live show if he could find proper logistics to do it (not surprised as most of the music is computer generated anyway, except for the guitar... laaaame hehe). Don't really care about him, Z&A is a bit too overrated in my opinion. It's hardly interesting and thought-out. More a sloppy novelty than quality.
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