Zeal & Ardor was created when Swiss-born New Yorker Manuel Gagneux noted the common ground between African American spirituals and European black metal, questioning what would happen if those songs had worshipped the devil instead of god.
“I think both elements in it, the American spirituals and the black metal have an emotional vehemence to them,” he explains.
Devil is in the detail
It’s most successful on the spine-tingling title track of debut album Devil Is Fine. Manuel’s vocal is seemingly aged hundreds of years and crept upon by piano and distorted electric guitars. What’s the secret to this studio wizardry?
“It’s this 20 dollar condenser microphone I bought from China about five years ago,” explains Manuel. “It sounds truly horrible with enough gain. That’s pretty much the entire magic trick: shoddy equipment!”
- For fans of: Wolves In The Throne Room, Alan Lomax recordings
- Gear: Ibanez S Series, Fractal Axe-FX, laptop