Zeal & Ardor are a phenomenon. Since their discovery they’ve gone viral, supported Prophets of Rage, and played a wide range of festivals from the prestigious Roadburn Festival to the more mainstream Reading and Leeds festivals. But their UK journey started here at a sold out Camden Underworld.
Opener Combineharvester is a band that were an interesting viewing: a mixture of post-metal, noise, drone, and psychedelia, that created walls of noise with their sound. While the band were an interesting viewing, their music, if you excuse the pun, did drone on for a bit too long and started to get a tad boring as their set came to a close. But despite this, Combineharvester were an interesting group to see.
To this day I still don’t know what to make of Pryapisme. The experimental, electronic, avant-garde metal group put on a show that was part-heavy metal, part-retro video game soundtrack that I still can’t understand . Sometimes I thought it was too over the top and at some parts it was a work of manic genius. Like their countrymen in Igorrr, there set themselves no boundaries with their music and created something that had to be seen.
For their first UK gig, Zeal & Ardor had sold out the Camden Underworld and he soon proved why. Opening with “In Ashes,” from Devil is Fine, it was clear we were in for a very special show. Playing material old and new, the group had a powerful atmosphere lead by the charismatic Manuel Gagneux on vocals. The show was electrifying, the slavery-themed black metal concept translated well to the live arena. It was a show that never got boring, I couldn’t take my eyes off the stage. Ending with “Don’t You Dare,” and their most famous song, “Devil is Fine,” it was a proud moment to watch the band overwhelmed with the whole venue singing “Devil is Fine,” back at the band. An absolute triumph.