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ZGARD
ZGARD
Contemplation
(Svarga Music)
64:21min

Ukrainian one-man band ZGARD has just released their latest album "Contemplation" on Svarga Music. Pagan Black Metal is how they tag their music. It sure describes their basic sound well. But there is more to ZGARD than just mysticism and legend. The multiple array of instruments and arrangements add a lot of variety to the atmosphere, that encompasses basic elements of different styles of music. The overall sound evoke a lot of feelings, creating a rather interesting listen from start to end. Surprisingly, their Black Metal roots tend to mix well with their Viking, Folk and even some orchestral Metal influences. This album could easily be a sonic description of a journey into the beautiful darkness of the Carpathian forests. The production is raw but clear. Grandiose open chords and tremolo riffs go along acoustic parts and melancholic passages. This mix dominates the string landscape, where the bass is usually following the guitar plays riffs, adding bottom end to the sharp, kinda thin guitar sound. The programming is well done. Nothing fancy but a perfect fit to the fast and mid-tempo parts and the calm interludes as well. The flute brings that quiet, but eerie touch that rounds the edges and creates memorable melodies that help define the shape of "Contemplation". One of the highlights, in my humble opinion, is the vocal department. Even though the typical high pitched shriek is present, it sounds desperate, à la MASTER'S HAMMER, which I think is great. The clean vocals just add a tad of "epicness" to the listening experience. Personally, I've never been a fan of this style of music, but "Contemplation" is, nonetheless, an album that ignited my curiosity. And if you consider yourself a fan of any of these sub genres, ZGARD is one band you need definitely to check out. They deserve all your support and respect for creating such a diverse, yet solid album. Really good stuff here. For more info on the band and the label, follow these links: www.facebook.com/pages/zgard/203165013034128, http://zgard.bandcamp.com, www.svarga.eu

Alfonso Perez

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