Zeal & Ardor ¦ Zeal & Ardor

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Zeal & Ardor is the self-titled third studio album by avant-garde metal artist Zeal & Ardor, released on 11 February 2022.[8][9]

Track information

Lead singer Manuel Gagneux described the album, stating:

— Lyrically, it's a continuation of the alternate history narrative we have going on—what if American slaves had turned to Satan instead of God?—Where Devil Is Fine was about life in captivity and Stranger Fruit was about the escape this record is about the many things that come after. Being on the run, clandestine ruminations and grand plan."[10]

Gagneux describes the opening track, "Zeal & Ardor" as "start(ing) with a broody synthesizer and then one element after the other comes in. By the end, you should be in the Zeal & Ardor world."[2] Lead single "Run" is described as "non-stop aggressive"[2] and features a music video described as "disturbing" set in a psychiatric hospital, Gagneux described the video stating "Garrick Lauterbach, who directed it and I share a fascination with deep dreams and AI. Being able to weave it into a narrative of mental diaspora was an incredible treat."[11] "Death to the Holy" has elements of blues & a piano, features a "metalcore type breakdown" and "evil synthziers", with Gagneux describing it as "the most Zeal & Ardor song on the record."[2]

"Emersion" features elements of post-rock and a contrasting "relax(ing) hip hop beat" alongside black metal.[2] "Golden Liar" is described by Gagneux as "a slow burn. Rather than using harsh tones to convey heaviness, it uses lyrics and atmosphere to convey weight. It's both smoke and fire."[6] The song's atmospheric elements were inspired by Ennio Morricone.[2] A music video was released, directed by Max Carlo Kohal.[12] "Erase" was created with the intention to "confuse you in the most pleasant way possible".[13] The song features elements of progressive rock.[2]

"Bow" features elements of soul music,[4] Gagneux described it as "tak[ing] out established musical themes and plac[ing] them into a completely different background. It's an amalgam of things bestowing bad luck demanding you to join it."[4] Inspired by industrial and electronic music, the track was written to be "awe-inspiring" and "grandiose".[2] "Feed the Machine" was inspired by Ministry, and originally featured programmed drums that drummer Marco Von Allmen stated were too fast to be able to perform before they were slowed down.[2] "I Caught You" has nu-metal influences, particularly Deftones.[2] "Church Burns" features "the most potentially controversial lyrics of the album... in the most pop-adjacent song we have."[2] Gagneux described the breakdown as inspired by ZZ Top.[2]

"Götterdämmerung", named after a movement in a Richard Wagner opera,[2] is sung mostly in German and described by Gagneux as "our most bare bones song yet. No gimmicks, no frills, no distractions, just rage."[5] Further explaining, Gagneux stated "Wagner was heavily used by not-so-great people in the '30s and '40s in Germany. So I wanted to reappropriate and reclaim Wagner, even though he himself was a huge dick, too—but dude wrote brilliant music."[2] "Hold Your Head Low" is an older song that had been played live dating back to 2017, with influences from Opeth.[2] "J-M-B" features jazz chords put to metal, and stands for "Jazz Metal Blues".[2] Closing track "A-H-I-L" is an atmospheric somber track, with Gagneux stating "it's like that hopeless, drab rainy day in Norway, like 'my father just got killed by a pack of wolves' kind of vibe. I just wanted to try and emulate that with synthesizers, as far removed from actual black metal as possible.[2]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Distorted Sound9/10[14]
Heavy Magpositive[15]
The Line of Best Fit7/10[16]
Metal Hammer[17]
Metal Storm7.8/10[18]
Wall of Sound7/10[21]

The album received positive critical reviews. Kerrang! stated "Industrial rhythms, gently plucked guitars and synthy soundscapes may haunt these realms, but the blood and fire reverberating through history's dark corridors remains. Indeed, there are moments on this self-titled third album which find Zeal & Ardor at their heaviest-hitting yet, even as their musical singularity boasts definite crossover appeal.[1] Writing for The Line of Best Fit, John Amen gave the album a 7/10 rating and concluded, "Zeal & Ardor continue to assert their versatility, though the expression of unadulterated rage – toward earthly life, perhaps toward existence itself – has become their primary mission. They've committed to a fertile template, even if it's a fairly well-trampled one."[16]


Metal HammerThe Best Metal Albums of 2022 So Far

Track listing

All tracks are written by Manuel Gagneux.

1."Zeal & Ardor"1:58
3."Death to the Holy"3:07
5."Golden Liar"3:43
8."Feed the Machine"2:39
9."I Caught You"4:07
10."Church Burns"3:03
12."Hold Your Head Low"4:43
13."J-M-B (Jazz, Metal, Blues)"1:54
14."A-H-I-L (All Hope Is Lost)"2:36
Total length:43:57


Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[24]

Zeal & Ardor

  • Manuel Gagneux – lead vocals, backing vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, synthesizer, samples, programming, production, art design
  • Marco Von Allmen – drums, photography
  • Marc Obrist - recording production

Additional personnel

  • Will Putney – mixing, mastering
  • Noé Herrmann - art design
  • Nico Charon - illustrations


Chart performance for Zeal & Ardor
Chart (2022)Peak
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[25]171
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[26]27
Scottish Albums (OCC)[27]51
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[28]5
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[29]15
UK Rock & Metal Albums (OCC)[30]3


  1. ^ a b c d e "The big review: Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor". Kerrang!.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Zeal & Ardor by Zeal & Ardor". 11 February 2022 – via music.apple.com.
  3. ^ "Zeal & Ardor unleash "aggressive" first single from upcoming third album". Kerrang!.
  4. ^ a b c "Zeal & Ardor Debut Soulful New Song 'Bow' + Announce 2022 Album". Loudwire. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  5. ^ a b Chad Childers (15 October 2021). "Zeal & Ardor Fire Up Aggressive New Song 'Gotterdammerung'". Loudwire. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  6. ^ a b Childers, Chad. "Zeal & Ardor Drop Slow Burn Angst in New Song 'Golden Liar'". Loudwire.
  7. ^ "Listen to Church Burns, the final single from Zeal & Ardor's new album". Kerrang!.
  8. ^ Axl Rosenberg (1 September 2021). "Zeal & Ardor Announce New Album Release Date, Premiere New Single". MetalSucks. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Zeal & Ardor announce self-titled album, drop new single Bow". Kerrang!.
  10. ^ "Interview: Manuel Gagneux of Zeal & Ardor Talks New Album -". 11 February 2022.
  11. ^ Run video
  12. ^ "Zeal & Ardor release new music video for 'Golden Liar'". 11 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Zeal & Ardor Share New Song "Erase"". Rock 'n' Load. 23 July 2021.
  14. ^ "ALBUM REVIEW: Zeal & Ardor - Zeal & Ardor". 10 February 2022.
  15. ^ "ZEAL & ARDOR: Zeal & Ardor | HEAVY Magazine". 12 February 2022.
  16. ^ a b "With their self-titled third album, Zeal & Ardor commit to expressing unadulterated rage". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  17. ^ Alec Chillingworth (10 February 2022). "Zeal & Ardor's self-titled album: "Originality is a scant currency, and Manuel Gagneux's pockets are full"". loudersound.
  18. ^ MS review
  19. ^ Hodgson, Harry (11 February 2022). "Album Review: Zeal & Ardor - 'Zeal & Ardor'".
  20. ^ blabbermouth review
  21. ^ WOS rev
  22. ^ TOH rev
  23. ^ "The Best Metal Albums of 2022 So Far". Metal Hammer. 7 May 2022. p. 2. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  24. ^ Zeal & Ardor (Media notes). Zeal & Ardor. Redacted GmbH, MVKA. 2022.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  26. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  27. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  28. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  29. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  30. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 February 2022.

External links


Veröffentlichungen von Zeal & Ardor die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Stranger Fruit ¦ Devil Is Fine ¦ Wake Of A Nation ¦ Zeal & Ardor

Zeal & Ardor auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Zeal & Ardor (englisch für „Eifer und Inbrunst“) ist ein Musikprojekt des Amerikaschweizers Manuel Gagneux. Der Musikstil ist durch die Mischung von Gospel und Black Metal geprägt.[1]


Zeal & Ardor wurde 2013 vom Basler Musiker Manuel Gagneux ins Leben gerufen. Die Idee für das Projekt stammt aus einer Konversation auf der Internetplattform 4chan. Auf Gagneux’ Frage, aus welchen zwei Musikrichtungen er ein Stück erschaffen solle, erhielt er die Antworten Black Metal und «nigger music». Nach anfänglichem Zögern überzeugte er sich selbst von der Idee und nahm mehrere Songs auf. Deren Veröffentlichung wurde zunächst nicht weiter beachtet. Erst nach der Entdeckung durch die amerikanische Musikjournalistin Kim Kelly gingen die Titel am 3. Juni 2016 viral.[1]

Das Debütalbum Devil Is Fine erschien im August 2016 in limitierter Auflage auf Schallplatte. Am 24. Februar 2017 wurde das Album auf CD erstveröffentlicht. Im Jahr 2017 ging Zeal & Ardor erstmals auf Europatournee, wofür das Soloprojekt zu einer Band ausgebaut wurde.[1][2] Die neuen Bandmitglieder sind Tiziano Volante (Gitarre), Mia Rafaela Dieu (Bass), Marco von Allmen (Schlagzeug), Mark Obrist und Denis Wagner (beide Hintergrundgesang).[3]

Das Musikmagazin Noisey listete Devil Is Fine als sechstbestes Album des Jahres 2016.[4] 2017 gewann Zeal & Ardor den Basler Pop-Preis.[5] 2018 war Zeal & Ardor für den Swiss Music Award im Bereich Best Live Act nominiert.[6] Auch für die Metal Hammer Awards und die Loudwire Music Awards 2017 in den Bereichen Best Debut bzw. Best New Artist war Zeal & Ardor nominiert. Im November 2020 gewannen Zeal & Ardor zum zweiten Mal den Basler Pop-Preis.[7]


Manuel Gagneux bei den Winterthurer Musikfestwochen 2017


Höchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungenTemplate:Charttabelle/Wartung/ohne Quellen
(Jahr, Titel, Musiklabel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
2016Devil Is Fine
(2 Wo.)CH
Erstveröffentlichung: 15. April 2016; Wiederveröffentlichung: 24. Februar 2017 über Reflections Records
2018Stranger Fruit
(1 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)AT
(5 Wo.)CH
Erstveröffentlichung: 8. Juni 2018
2019Live in London
Erstveröffentlichung: 22. März 2019
2022Zeal & Ardor
(1 Wo.)DE
(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2022CH
Erstveröffentlichung: 11. Februar 2022


2020Wake of a Nation
Erstveröffentlichung: 23. Oktober 2020
Erstveröffentlichung: 15. Oktober 2021


  • 2016: Devil Is Fine
  • 2017: Come on Down
  • 2018: Gravedigger’s Chant
  • 2018: Waste
  • 2018: Built on Ashes
  • 2018: You Ain’t Coming Back
  • 2020: I Can’t Breathe
  • 2020: Vigil
  • 2020: Tuskegee
  • 2021: Run
  • 2021: Golden Liar


Commons: Zeal & Ardor – Sammlung von Bildern, Videos und Audiodateien


  1. a b c Was zum Teufel ist das? In: Die Zeit, Nr. 8/2017
  2. Schwarz reimt sich auf Schwarz. In: NZZ
  3. Zeal & Ardor – Devil Is Fine: Brutal geerdet. rfv.ch
  4. The 100 Best Albums of 2016. noisey.vice.com; abgerufen am 19. Februar 2018
  5. Drei Mal Metal: Zeal & Ardor gewinnen Basler Pop-Preis. RFV Basel, abgerufen am 16. Januar 2020.
  6. Zeal & Ardor nominiert als Best Live Act. telebasel.ch; abgerufen am 19. Februar 2018
  7. Basler Pop-Preis 2020 geht an Zeal & Ardor. Abgerufen am 19. November 2020.


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