I love hearing unique combinations of different musical styles that would not normally be paired together or even thought of as being a good mixture. To me, that is precisely what this new album is.
Devil is Fine, the nine track journey by Zeal & Ardor features styles of metal that allude to the early Norwegian black metal scene, as well modern metalcore elements, and even some hip hop characteristics in one track. The music is often fused with chain gang spiritual chants with lyrical content involving typical black metal fare rituals. Needless to say, it is a very interesting album, and I enjoyed every second of it. Some of my favorite tracks include “Devil Is Fine,” “Children’s Summon” and “Blood In The River.”
The album starts with a chain gang chant repeated throughout the track, whilst an eerie chord progression played on piano creeps into the texture, along with tremolo strummed guitars, and eventually drums, creating a dark atmosphere to accompany the lyrics, “Devil is Kind, Devil is Fine.” “Children’s Summon,” track five on the album, features fast blast beats and high pitched screaming more reminiscent of black metal, alongside with melodic guitar noodling, all accompanying lyrics consisting of names of demons.
The track “Blood In The River” is the album’s best example of an unique combination of metal and work song chants. The song starts with rhythmic kick drumming and chain rattling accompanied by another dark chant, then follows with atmospheric growling, screaming, heavy drums and tremolo strummed guitars, all with the chant layered on top.
I highly recommend giving this album a listen, it is truly a one of a kind creation, containing a wide variety of influences. This intriguing record introduces a style change every track, and I believe it will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
You can listen to and purchase the full length album on the band’s Bandcamp page and follow them on Facebook to check out their tour dates for the next few months! You can view their music video for “Devil is Fine” below.