Album Review: "Zeal & Ardor" by Zeal & Ardor 9/10

Zeal & Ardor

Zeal & Ardor


Producers: Marc Obrist and Manuel Gagneux

This self-titled LP picks up where its predecessor, Stranger Fruit, left off, with a proggy twist. The black metal/blues project instills bouts of synthwave to round out this new release. “Emersion” pairs Tycho-esque programming with an unrelenting Deafheaven-adjacent hook. “Golden Liar” introduces a deeper vocal tonality, with Ennio Morricone musicianship. Whether screaming, belting, or whispering, Gagneux does exactly what’s needed to keep listeners from skipping a single track on this nearly perfect follow-up.