There’s absolutely no metal band on the planet that sounds like Swiss avant-garde metallers Zeal & Ardor, and now with their inventive fourth album on the way, the neo-soul/black metal horde are on their way to superstardom. Founded and fronted by Manuel Gagneux, the band has sharpened its claws, lengthened its teeth, and steeled its nerves over the years, growing more undeniable and unpredictable in the process. After gathering tens of millions of streams and earning widespread critical acclaim, this beast proves as dynamic and dangerous as ever on its fourth full-length, self-produced album, ‘Greif’ set for release on August 23rd, 2024. 

The title, ‘Greif’, is inspired by an annual tradition in Manuel’s hometown of Basel, Switzerland. A mythical hybrid creature parades through the streets for the children in symbolism of Basel’s working people balking at the oppressive elite on its other side. Given the animal’s amalgam of energies and physicality, the name proved apropos.

“The GREIF is a lion, a snake, and a bird,” he notes. “During the parade, he turns his backside to the aristocrats and sticks it to the man. It reflects where we are.”

At the beginning of this next chapter, the evocative group have chosen to first showcase the album’s conclusion, sharing its plaintive and poetic final track, “To My Ilk.” Loose blues guitar snakes around strong claps as Manuel’s voice echoes through a choir. “It has another level of emotion, and it came out just the way I imagined, he remarks.

“We’ve really evolved into a tight-knit unit,” adds Marc. “Before Zeal & Ardor, we were basically strangers, but we’re like a little family now. Each member brings his own unique flavor to the mix, and we all try to make Manuel’s songs better in our own way. The most interesting part for me was the new approach of how we work together in the studio.”

Decamping to Marc’s studio Hutch Sounds in Switzerland, the record came to life in just five months. The frontman excitedly leveraged the talents of his cohorts, featuring three voices for the first time and emboldening the sound from every angle.

 “I wanted to expand upon what we had and introduce new colors,” Manuel goes on. “There are angry and accusatory moments, but there’s also some solace and happiness. I’m widening the palette of colors we have to paint with. These are avenues we haven’t tried.” 

Zeal & Ardor are gearing up for some extensive touring, which includes headline dates, festival performances, and several shows as special guests alongside experimental folk troupe HEILUNG. They return to the UK for one headline show at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on September 22nd, 2024. Tickets are on sale now for all dates except the headline shows in London, Copenhagen, Linz, and Milan which go on sale this Friday 26th April. To buy, head to www.zealandardor.com.

See ZEAL & ARDOR at: 

06.06.2024   PL – Mystic Festival

08.06.2024   SE – Sweden Rock Festival

22.06.2024   FR – Rock in Bourlon

23.06.2024   DE – Full Force Festival

26.06.2024   LV – Riga, Melna Piektdiena

27.06.2024   EE – Talinn, Tapper

28.06.2024   FI – Tuska Festival

20.07.2024   DE – Baden im Blut Festival

10.08.2024   FR – Festival 666

16.08.2024   DE – Reload Festival

28.08.2024   DK – Copenhagen, Amager Bio

29.08.2024   DE – Hamburg, Edel Optics Arena*

31.08.2024   DE – Berlin, Zitadelle*

03.09.2024   DE – Stuttgart, Beethoven Saal*

05.09.2024   DE – Nurnberg, Kia Metropol Arena

07.09.2024   CZ – Trutnov, Boijste Amphitheater*

09.09.2024   HU – Budapest. Barba Negra Openair*

11.09.2024   AT – Vienna, Arena*

12.09.2024   AT – Linz, Posthof

13.09.2024   DE – Munich, Zenith*

15.09.2024   BE – Antwerpen, Lotto Arena*

17.09.2024   FR – Paris, Zenith*

19.09.2024   DE – Cologne, Palladium*

21.09.2024   NL – Amsterdam, AFAS Live* (sold out)

22.09.2024   UK – London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

04.10.2024   IT – Milan, Santeria

05.10.2024   CH – Lucerne, Metal Storm Festival

12.10.2024   NL – Nijmegen, Soulcrusher Festival

‘Greif’ will be released August 23rd.

Watch the visualizer video for new track ‘To My Ilk’ right here:

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