Zeal & Ardor - Devil Is Fine album review

Swiss multi-instrumentalist mixes it up… mixes it ALL up…

Cover art for Zeal & Ardor DEVIL IS FINE

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Devil Is Fine serves as Manuel Gagneux’s debut release through this one-man project, as he smashes extreme music against African American spirituals alongside a lullaby-inducing electro triptych.

Black metal is perverted through Come On Down’s tremolo-picked fury and shrieking, but then it’s into gorgeous blues croons, classic metal riffing, and back to Satan squeezing Manuel’s knackersack. Whether the genres run in tandem or successively, the blend’s never jarring. Children’s Summon is basically In Flames at their melodeath best channelling Rotting Christ. What Is A Killer Like You Gonna Do Here’s standup bass and rockabilly riffs are ridiculous, but so is the entire record. And it’s so catchy. Manuel seems to be an expert on his chosen genres, the chains on the title track and Blood In The River ringing with authenticity as he links Christian oppression of US slaves to Norway’s history. Behind its ideals, Devil Is Fine presents a sonic soup leaking over the table; if Manuel scoops it into one bowl, he’ll be unbeatable.