Swiss-based Avant-garde metal, blues, gospel and soul band Zeal & Ardor announced the release of their new EP Wake of a Nation out on or around Oct 23 on their own label. The album was originally planned to be released in 2021, however According to The PRP, Zeal & Ardor frontman Manuel Gagneux stated, “As these songs were written due to the horrendous events that instilled them, I decided to release them as soon as possible.”
Zeal & Ardor consists of Gagneux on vocals and guitar, backing vocalists Denis Wagner and Marc Obrist, guitarist Tiziano Volante, bassist Mia Rafaela Dieu and drummer Marco Von Allmen. The band started in 2013 in New York, signed with MVKA records in 2016 and returned to Basel, Switzerland where they currently reside.
The album was composed by Gagneux. All drums were performed by Allmen. The album was recorded by Marc Obrist & Gagneux and mixed and mastered by Will Putney of Graphic Nature Audio in Belleville, New Jersey.
“I Can’t Breathe” is a short one and a half minute track that begins with analog bass synths and short spoken word samples of protesters and upset people who appear to have been witnesses to a homicide. Already powerful, the song gets an extra boost of energy with loud and heavily distorted drums. The song doesn’t last long and ends shortly after it begins.
The intro for “Vigil” begins with a piano playing softly while Gagneux starts singing vocals in somewhat of a rock-like fashion. His clear and powerful voice becomes louder as the song progresses, however the piano remains soft, giving the song a feeling that one is at a vigil. Gospel-like backing vocals begin towards the end of the song helping to make for a strong buildup of energy towards the end. Finally, the song ends with an outro similar to the intro, a piano playing softly.
The album can be pre ordered on Bandcamp. According to Gagneux, “All revenues from sales and streaming of ‘I Can’t Breathe’ will be donated,” however the band’s frontman does not appear to state which organization(s) will be receiving the donated revenues.
Wake Of A Nation EP track list:
3. At The Seams
4. I Can’t Breathe
5. Trust No One
6. Wake Of A Nation