Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Melodic Black Metal
Label: BadMoodMan Music
Zgard is a new one-man-band from Ukraine formed just in 2010. Its only member is Yaromysl, who is also in the pagan folk metal band Goverla. Zgard released 2 full-length albums in 2012, both in January. The first album entitled “Spirit of Carpathian Sunset – Дух Карпатських Сутінків” is released by the German label Darker Than Black Records and the band plays pagan folk black metal, with the help of another Goverla member in the flutes, Gutsul. Two weeks later the Russian label BadMoodMan released the second album “Reclusion“.
This albums contains 8 songs and lasts for 56 minutes. Their music is melodic atmospheric black metal with many keyboards and a few touches of folk pagan metal here and there. Their melodies are based on the almost symphonic keys and Yaromysl seems to have endless inspiration full of different ideas. His vocals are black metal screams, but not very extreme; sometimes they have this screaming whispering style… Either way they fit perfectly with his music. The songs are mainly in mid tempo and all of them are quite long, with various changes inside them. Acoustic guitars help the band build a sad mood in the atmosphere, while the few parts with flutes are simply enchanting; especially in the fifth track “Хладокрес / Rise of Coldness“, my personal favorite of this album. Just Wonderful! The album is professionally produced and Zgard have a very clear and balanced sound. All lyrics are in their native language, while their thematology is about paganism and respect to the powers of nature and cosmos!
2012 begins very impressive for Zgard. I haven’t listened to their first album, except for a few samples, but I am sure I will love it even more, since it seems much closer to my personal taste. I can tell for sure though that their second work “Reclusion” is excellent and deserves your attention, especially if you are into atmospheric melodic metal. The amazing artwork of Kogaion Art in the 12-page booklet makes it even more appealing! In the following links you can get a taste of both of their albums. By they way a new 3rd album is already recorded and its release is scheduled for the end of the year!