"I kinda yell Satanic stuff in a Gospel voice."
July 7, 2016 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Devil Is Fine is the second album by Zeal and Ardor, a.k.a. Birdmask, a.k.a. Manuel Gagneux. For a taste of its "spiritual black metal blues," have a loud listen to "Blood In The River." The vocals are so gritty and authentic that he was accused of using unattributed samples from Smithsonian field recordings. posted by Johnny Wallflower (52 comments total) 94 users marked this as a favorite
Holy shit. Thank you for posting this.
posted by bibliogrrl at 9:42 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]

I bought this on Bandcamp when it first came out. It's amazing.
posted by dortmunder at 9:45 AM on July 7, 2016

"Blood in the River" is a dope fucking jam. Thanks.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:47 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Bloody hell, I don't listen to any of those genres but this is terrific.
posted by dowcrag at 9:49 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wow! This guy is amazing. I appreciate you posting this, thank you.
posted by Oso Mocoso at 9:49 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

My first impression was that it sounded like a gimmicky mashup, but holy fuck that is good. And bought.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:55 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Okay, yeah, this album rules.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:55 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is really fucking good.
posted by synthetik at 10:06 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Goddamn. I am stunned.
posted by ignignokt at 10:17 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

A quick listen has prompted me to set a reminder to buy this the instant I get home.

I have a friend who lives in a more analog world than I. He will receive from me in the mail a burned CD, unlabeled, with only instruction: "Listen."

I can't wait for the ensuing conversation.
posted by komara at 10:19 AM on July 7, 2016

Zeal and Ardor - Devil Is Fine (full album on YouTube)

Wow. Thanks for this!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:19 AM on July 7, 2016

If you want to listen to the whole album, please do so at the artist's Bandcamp page instead of YouTube ... you know, so that you could pay for it if you were so inclined.
posted by komara at 10:20 AM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]

The YT link is in case you can't stream music on Bandcamp, which I agree is the preferred streaming (and purchasing) option. For some wacky reason, at my current location I can load the Bandcamp page but the music won't stream, yet I can load and stream secure YT pages/videos.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:27 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

I wish they'd left out the blast beats and screeching so the good news of the lord below could entrance more souls and rake dark claws among different fields.
posted by SharkParty at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

I love this.
posted by Young Kullervo at 10:42 AM on July 7, 2016

purchased! This will be amazing to paint to, clean the house to and other, darker activities....
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 10:45 AM on July 7, 2016

Well this is fantastic. Buying the moment I'm home.

I would have never guessed this combination would mix so well.
posted by Twain Device at 10:53 AM on July 7, 2016

1: Blood in the River is the best song.

2: I'm once again reminded that mutiny is the best crime and mutineers are the best people. I'm just going to copy-paste in a big chunk of the wikipedia page on Robert Smalls, the badass mutineer pictured on the album cover:
On the evening of May 12, Planter was docked as usual at the wharf below General Ripley's headquarters.[2] Her three white officers disembarked to spend the night ashore, leaving Smalls and the crew on board, "as was their custom."[13] About 3 a.m. May 13, Smalls and seven of the eight slave crewmen made their previously planned escape to the Union blockade ships. Smalls put on the captain's uniform and wore a straw hat similar to the captain's. He sailed the Planter past what was then called Southern Wharf, and stopped at another wharf to pick up his wife and child, and the families of other crewmen.

Smalls guided the ship past the five Confederate harbor forts without incident, as he gave the correct signals at checkpoints. The Planter sailed past Fort Sumter at about 4:30 a.m. He headed straight for the Union Navy fleet, flying a white bed sheet as a surrender flag. The Planter had been seen by the USS Onward, which was about to fire until a crewman spotted the white flag. The Onward′s captain boarded the Planter, and Smalls asked for a United States flag to display. He surrendered the Planter and her cargo to the United States Navy.[4] Smalls' escape plan had succeeded.

In addition to her own light guns, Planter carried the four loose artillery pieces from Coles Island and the 200 pounds of ammunition. Most valuable, however, were the captain's code book containing the Confederate signals, and a map of the mines and torpedoes that had been laid in Charleston's harbor. Smalls' own extensive knowledge of the Charleston region's waterways and military configurations proved highly valuable. At Port Royal he gave detailed information about Charleston's defenses to Admiral Samuel Dupont, commander of the blockading fleet. Federal officers were surprised to learn from Smalls that contrary to their calculations, only a few thousand troops remained to protect the area, the rest having been sent to Tennessee and Virginia. They also learned that the Coles Island fortifications on Charleston's southern flank were being abandoned and were without protection.[7] This intelligence allowed Union forces to capture Coles Island and its string of batteries without a fight on May 20, a week after Smalls' escape. The Union would hold the Stono inlet as a base of operations for the three-year duration of the war.[2]
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:09 AM on July 7, 2016 [24 favorites]

The album continues to melt face like wut, even after several weeks of nonstop listening. I have evangelized this to everyone who happens to hold still in earshot of me for more than a few seconds, and have blasted it out the car stereo for those on the move. It is. So Fine. Also if you think about it, several of the songs appear to be about Dark Souls. Seriously, check the lyrics to 'In Ashes' and try to imagine it *not* being about rekindling the bonfire, and watching the ghosts of dead men rise from their bloodstains (and most of the time immediately fall off a cliff, but still).
posted by FatherDagon at 11:18 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wow. I listened to Blood in the River and I am covered in goosebumps. I feel like I never understood the phrase "hair standing on end" until now. Album bought. Thank you so much for this.
posted by none of these will bring disaster at 11:20 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

Worth noting, too, that Smalls was in attendance at the official Federal re-occupation of Fort Sumter after the war's conclusion.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:27 AM on July 7, 2016

I can't thank you enough for bringing this to my attention, FatherDagon. I would never have given it a chance.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:37 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

What started as another tedious day at work has morphed into one in which I'm discreetly losing my shit at my desk at how good this is.

This is amazing. Thanks so much.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:44 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wow this is really incredible.
posted by gucci mane at 11:44 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Try to listen to this on a system with a bit of bass to it, if you can. Bone rattling and glorious.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:15 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

Zounds! This is spectacular. Both albums purchased. Thanks for this.
posted by SonInLawOfSam at 12:22 PM on July 7, 2016

I feel like the third season of True Detective should be written around this.
posted by Candleman at 12:52 PM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]

Jim Thirwell and Diamanda Galas had a child...
posted by davebush at 1:20 PM on July 7, 2016

Does anyone have more unlikely black metal fusions to offer?

One I particularly like is The Apache Revolver, a black metal/surf rock band from Wisconsin. (Makes sense, right? (sunny beach + frostbitten forest)/2 ~= Wisconsin)

There's also Finntroll, which is black metal/polka, but I don't know where to start you there because that's even a little too Wisconsin.
posted by stevvvn at 1:28 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

There is Trve Kvlt 1960's Svrf Music from a few years back too. Though the channel seems to be missing my favourite, The Darkthrones' 1964 smash hit 'Californian Hunger'.

(and thanks for the amazing post!)
posted by remembrancer at 1:47 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Lion's Daughter and Indian Blanket wrote and recorded A Black Sea together. It moves between and sometimes fuses blackened sludge and acoustic folk.

That's probably not unlikely, considering how many European black metal bands go folk. But I quite like it.
posted by Boxenmacher at 2:18 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wow. Original. Did 4Chan finally inspire something good?
posted by Fierce at 2:24 PM on July 7, 2016

In the sense that a hurricane of shit might inadvertently quench a dumpster fire, maybe. Throwing hateful nonsense into the wind isn't really an act of agency.
posted by komara at 2:33 PM on July 7, 2016

This is pretty fun. I expected a bit more from the comments here, but it's got some great moments. The thought that it's unattributed Lomax recordings is pretty goddamned hilarious, but apparently some people can't tell this from Moby.
posted by klangklangston at 2:42 PM on July 7, 2016

Did that bum you out at all?
No, that’s just 4Chan.

posted by Roger Dodger at 3:08 PM on July 7, 2016

There is something that reminds me of Steve Earle. I mean, there are obviously obvious things to connect this to Steve Earle, but I think this has that thing that Earle (or even Shane McGowan) has at his best, a comfortable and seamless blending of influences, which sounds all the fresher for sounding totally obvious once it's been done.
posted by howfar at 3:18 PM on July 7, 2016

Lotta obvious in that comment.
posted by howfar at 3:18 PM on July 7, 2016

Holy shit, that stuff is amazing. Thank you.
posted by verb at 3:32 PM on July 7, 2016

Years ago on the radio I heard a scratchy version of "Ain't No Grave", which was not a song I was familiar with. The real lyrics go like this:
When I hear that trumpet sound
I'm gonna rise right out of the ground
Ain't no grave
Can hold my body down
But this was how I made it out:
When I hear that trumpet sound
I'm gonna rise right out of the ground
I'm gonna hold my body down
I thought I was hearing a vintage "roots music" recording of a man earnestly pledging to resist the rapture. Amazing.

It was kind of like this album.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 3:32 PM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]

This is amazing, thank you.
posted by asfuller at 4:03 PM on July 7, 2016

so I'm sitting on the couch with a glass of wine, reading Metafilter on my phone. phone won't play the videos so I'm just reading comments...until the weight of enthusiasm just got me right off the couch and into the office to play "Blood in the River" on my desktop...WOW!!! that is some cool shit. definitely gonna listen more tomorrow and buy that album. thanks!!!
posted by supermedusa at 6:32 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

Got home, purchased, downloaded, enjoyed. Was very surprised by the Marc Ribot-esque guitar solo coming out of nowhere.

Tom Waits: Clap Hands
Zeal and Ardor: What's a Killer like you gonna do here?
posted by komara at 9:11 PM on July 7, 2016

Thanks, Johnny Wallflower - that's some good listenin'. I shall buy the album.

Someone else who yells Satanic stuff in a gospel voice is Uncle Sinner. He's a Canadian musician who plays very dark, primitive, demon-haunted acoustic blues. Hear him on Bandcamp or scroll down here for my fRoots review of his latest CD.
posted by Paul Slade at 5:27 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Satan told me he's OK with me just downloading it for free
posted by thelonius at 7:03 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Downloads made via the xRowdz app ain't free, son.
posted by howfar at 7:15 AM on July 8, 2016

Heh: "The branding iron is for branding people. Also album sleeves, as most people tend to shy away from the pain and the slight permanence of being branded at a live concert."

I thought this would be a fun novelty, but it's surprisingly compelling.
posted by JiBB at 11:01 AM on July 8, 2016

Reminds me of Deafheaven, (vaguely!!) in that it mixes moods and genres with black metal that you never, ever would've imagined would work, but holy shit does it work. A YouTube link to Deafheaven's mostest famous album, "Sunbather."
posted by wires at 5:11 PM on July 8, 2016

Great post title and music. "I kinda yell Satanic stuff" is going on my resume under "accomplishments". Such a good line.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 1:01 PM on July 10, 2016

Hot damn holy shit this is a 24 carat ball-tearer.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:12 PM on July 10, 2016

Signed up for Bandcamp and paid and downloaded without question. Trying to listen at work but I can't get anything else done, I am pretty much paralysed by this record.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:52 PM on July 10, 2016

Episode 82 of The Memory Palace, The Wheel, tells a story of Robert Smalls. Thanks for introducing me to this music, Johnny.
posted by Gotanda at 10:43 PM on July 17, 2016

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