Having taken the whole world by storm with their first album, Devil is Fine, Zeal and Ardor return with a new single called Gravedigger’s Chant. Accompanying the single release was the welcome news that a new album is on it’s way, and soon. That album is going to be called Stranger Fruit and it will be released on the 8th of June.
The avant-garde metal group was originally just the project of one man, Manuel Gagneux. The album release, and subsequent re-release via MVKA Records saw the project explode into life and popularity. Zeal and Ardor became a fully fledged, international touring band and are one of the brightest and most creative prospects in modern metal. Their debut release was far from perfect though, in our opinion. It was split almost perfectly down the middle with amazing tracks and out of place, electronica. Basically Sacrilegium. Read our thoughts on that debut here and check out our review of the lead single here.
Gravedigger’s Chant isn’t the first bit of music Zeal and Ardor have released since Devil is Fine. They have released two singles, one called I and one called Baphomet. Both good songs and you can read our thoughts on Baphomet here. Zeal and Ardor today are fronted by guitarist and singer Manuel Gagneux. Also in the band now are Denis Wagner, Marc Obrist, Tiziano Volante, Mia Rafaela Dieu and Marco von Allmen.
Gravedigger’s Chant is just over 3 minutes long. If you are hoping for that exciting mix if black metal heaviness with soulful singing and chants, you don’t exactly get that here. Instead this is a bit more Devil is Fine (the song) like. A simple piano melody leads the track with soulful singing joining in. The drums join playing a slow marching beat but with a really thundering, distorted sound. The singing is great – both mournful and powerful. The mix of singing with those crashing drums and melodic piano add an eerie atmosphere fitting of the song title.
The singing raises in power and tone a bit in the chant like chorus and guitars come in, just in the background, to play short lines to enhance the piano melody. As the song progresses backing vocals in that chaing gang style come in to offset Manuel. The guitars raise in intensity, the drop off, then come back. Everything blends together to create a dark and moody atmosphere with a hint of threat hanging over it all. A sound and listening experience that is completely their own.
Speaking about Gravedigger’s Chant, and it’s meaning, Manuel said – “The gravedigger’s chant is the song sung by the people who lay your body to rest. These people don’t care where you were, but they know what you did and who loved you. All they know is what lies before them. So they sing this song, since you can no longer breathe a note.”
Check out Gravedigger’s Chant and the creepy video that accompanies it at Zeal and Ardor’s YouTube page here. You can also stream it at all the usual services like Spotify and Apple Music. Finally, grab it and more at the Amazon links below. You could also head over to their website to preorder Stranger Fruit now. Keep up to date with new music and tour info from Zeal and Ardor at their website, on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to like and follow them while you are there.
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Gravedigger's Chant by Zeal and Ardor (Stranger Fruit)
- The Final Score - 7.5/107.5/10