After dropping the eerie track “Gravedigger’s Chant” on Good Friday, ZEAL & ARDOR now shares a contrasting, second new song, titled “Waste”. It’s from their forthcoming album, “Stranger Fruit”.
ZEAL & ARDOR provocateur Manuel Gagneux explains: “‘Waste’ is the introduction of the other half of ‘Stranger Fruit’. Fully incorporating the gospel and soul elements in black metal and never compromising in its intent. We give you this song as a second single, because it’s not what one might expect to come next. This is the feeling that permeates the album as a whole as well. We hope you enjoy.”
Both “Gravedigger’s Chant” and “Waste” are available now on all streaming services and as instant-grat tracks when pre-ordering the new album.
“Stranger Fruit” will be released on June 8 in multiple formats, including CD, cassette, vinyl, and digital download/stream. For vinyl fans, there’s a 2LP 180-gram gatefold vinyl or a 2LP limited deluxe 180-gram triple gatefold purple vinyl.
Mixing blues, gospel, and soul with harsher music has opened up a world of possibilities for Gagneux. Previously creating as a one-man solo effort, the immense interest and critical acclaim ZEAL & ARDOR attracted upon release of debut album, “Devil Is Fine”, has led to the project becoming a fully fledged, internationally touring band.
After months hidden away, crafting the new songs for “Stranger Fruit”, Gagneux entered the studio with producer Zebo Adam and mixer Kurt Ballou (CONVERGE, KVELERTAK, NAILS). While the finished sound is larger and heavier, it is still unmistakably ZEAL & ARDOR.
The diverse yet cohesive nature of the 16 tracks on “Stranger Fruit” (artwork pictured below) is designed to encourage the listener to dig a little deeper and find their own meaning in its words. In contrast to “Devil Is Fine”, these songs are deliberately intended to play off each other both lyrically and musically.
While the record seethes with a justifiable rage, its wider-reaching aim is to unify, not divide, and to inspire action, not inertia. Elements of a bleak melancholy are tempered by hope. Superficially, the album tells small isolated stories, but there are also references to the Goetia, Yoruba, and obscure occult literature and history within.
“Stranger Fruit” track listing:
02. Gravedigger’s Chant
04. Don’t You Dare
05. Fire Of Motion
06. The Hermit
07. Row Row
08. Ship On Fire
10. You Ain’t Coming Back
11. The Fool
12. We Can’t Be Found
13. Stranger Fruit
16. Built On Ashes
ZEAL & ARDOR will appear at multiple European music festivals through 2018, including Download, Graspop Metal Meeting and Hellfest.