Listen to Z&A’s third full length album, listen to how this bafflingly overlooked Swiss band manage to combine a myriad of genres from soul to gospel to electronica to blues and house them all under a single roof of the blackest of black metal, listen to that at once hilarious and at once terrifying jump cut Emersion makes from BandCamp bedroom electro-pop into screaming death thrash, listen to this band redefine what could be considered heavy rock music for 44 minutes. Then come back to me, I want to see your face when I tell you that this is by far the most straightforward and standard record the band have yet made.
This is all relative, of course: Zeal & Ardor’s ‘normal’ is a far cry from that of plebs like you and I. We still get key changes, electronic swathes, and a near exhausting amount of tropes and genres paid service to. It’s just that compared to the incredibly creative places that the band have dragged their music to over their past two albums (plus 2020’s incredible ‘Wake of a Nation’ EP) their latest often sounds like the band instead turning more inwards and congregating all their visions into making a record that’s slightly more recognisable as ‘metal’.AND HOW WELL DO THEY DO THAT?