Listen to a Chilling New Zeal & Ardor Song, "Don't You Dare"

The Swiss black metal blues project has dropped a soulful new joint ahead of their first European tour (and North American festival appearance)

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Feb 14 2017, 3:25pm

Swiss musician Manuel Gagneux made massive (and unexpected) waves with his project Zeal & Ardor's last album, Devil Is Fineenough that the record is now being given a rerelease and a shiny new PR/marketing campaign. As part of the latter, we're premiering a brand-new track,"Don't You Dare"—which was first performed live at Couleur 3 studio in Lausanne, Switzerland—below, and highly recommend tuning in. 

"Don't You Dare" introduces a more refined version of the eclectic Zeal & Ardor sound. All the hallmarks are there—Gagneaux's soulful baritone croon, urgent chords, unorthodox melodies, heavy Southern influence, and the strangely harmonious introduction of black metal elements like frosty tremolo, blastbeats, Satanic vibes, and ragged howls—but here, they sound newly purposeful, and gel beautifully, even where the band's earlier work occasionally missed the mark. The vocals are a particular point of interest, as Gagneux's now-familiar bluesy croak is put on display and accompanied by two backup singers, who add their even deeper timbres in a call-and-response Delta pastiche. Given the initial speculation that Zeal & Ardor's vocals were sampled from old-time recordings, it's nice to see Gagneux flex his vocal chops.

As for the song itself, Gagneux told Noisey, "The idea of something so horrible that merely looking at it will end you is fascinating to me. 'Don't You Dare' thematically plays with biblical demons as well as Lovecraftian elements that lend themselves well to this idea. Since I wrote it after getting the band together, it's not on the album, but will be performed on the upcoming tour. I hope you enjoy watching as much as we enjoy playing it."

Listen below!

Zeal & Ardor has (finally!) announced a handful of live dates, with a short European tour leading up to their debut North American appearance at Psycho Las Vegas festival.

14.04.2017  CH - Basel, Czar Fest  
19.04.2017  FR - Paris, Le Glazart  
20.04.2017  UK - London, Camden, Underworld  
21.04.2017  NL - Tilburg, Roadburn Festival 
22.04.2017  DE - Berlin, Urban Spree  
24.04.2017  CZ - Prague, Roxy 
25.04.2017  PL - Warsaw, Hydrozagadka  
03.05.2017  IT - Milano, Magnolia
04.05.2017  CH - Geneva, Usine  
05.05.2017  GR - Athens, Ilion Plus
18.-20.05.2017  UK - Brighton, The Great Escape Festival 
20.08.2017 US - Psycho Vegas, Las Vegas

Photo by Matthias Willi
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