Zeal & Ardor, 4 December 2018, Birmingham UK

Zeal & Ardor with Blanket, December 4th 2018, O2 Institute, Birmingham, UK

First on stage were cinematic rockers Blanket, a name that I have not come across before. Being very busy this year with two album releases – How To Let Go on May 18th via Music For Nations and Transfiction on November 23rd – the Blackpool, UK-based band were now on a short tour supporting Zeal & Ardor.

Previously creating chamber pop under the name Birdcage, Manuel Gagneux released the first record Devil Is Fine under the Zeal & Ardor moniker in 2016 and the once solo project was eventually turned into a full-fledged band. With their second album Stranger Fruit out on June 8th 2018, Zeal & Ardor set off to tour North America and Europe.

For the whole show the room was sinking in a pale purple smoky haze, revealing silhouettes against the bright, washed-out lighting backdrop and we were able to catch only glimpses of musicians’ faces. The band’s frontman Manuel doesn’t waste time chitchatting between the songs – “Since,” he said to the crowd, “It’s not what you’ve paid for.” Tonight’s setlist included most tracks from Zeal & Ardor’s latest album, which fans were roaring along to word by word. The clanging sounds of slave spirituals combined skilfully with black metal giving that dark, apocalyptic feel. It is definitely music that is hard not to get sucked into.

Sacrilegium I
In Ashes
Come On Down
Blood In the River
Row Row
You Ain’t Coming Back
We Never Fall
Fire Of Motion
Ship On Fire
Stranger Fruit
Cut Me
Gravedigger’s Chant
Children’s Summon
Built On Ashes
We Can’t Be Found

Don’t You Dare
Devil Is Fine

Manuel Gagneux – lead vocals, guitars, programming
Denis Wagner – backing vocals
Marc Obrist – backing vocals
Tiziano Volante – guitars
Mia Rafaela Dieu – bass
Marco Von Allmen – drums

www.zealandardor.com | www.facebook.com/zealandardor

www.blanketofficial.com | www.facebook.com/blanketsounds

Metalhead travel junkie and a geek.