Contemplation by Zgard (Svarga Music)
There’s black metal, there’s Pagan metal, there’s epic metal – and then there’s the grand and majestic tapestries of the mighty Zgard -combining the three influences, coming up with a masterwork that is absolutely stunning to behold. Contemplation is the fourth magnum opus presented by Zgard from the mystical and troubled Ukraine, seven absolutely visionary tracks that will set your imagination in flight. Yaromisl is the mastermind behind Zgard, and the compositions he has bestowed upon the world at large present a thrilling auditory odyssey that you’ll want to revisit time and again.
After the freezing winds and haunting chants prepare you for the sonic perils ahead, Contemplation opens with the gigantic refrains of Highlands, enrapturing the listener with its sheer magnificence and vibrancy. It is then time to ring the Underworld Bells, a sweeping track that will transport you to the darkest of places with its absolutely cinematic refrains.
The title track Contemplation is then unveiled, a staggering epic where spoken word and intensive vocals are mixed with a mesmerizing wall of sound. Wedge Of Cranes soars into the stratosphere with its captivating sense of intrigue, complete with thunderous guitars and assorted exotic instruments.
An ominous reprieve is then found within Silence, an instrumental piece demonstrating an ambient side to the Zgard experience. Incarnation Memory then places the metal into overdrive, where bombastic choirs, impassioned vocals, and even more folk instruments render this track a celebrated standout. And then closing out the spellbinding journey is Through The Forest, commanding and ambitious in scope, showing a true artist at the very height of his creative prowess.
One of the most exciting entities within the Ukrainian metal scene and beyond, Zgard is sure to fascinate music aficionados all across the world with the splendid Contemplation. An underground classic of epic proportions, Contemplation is sure to wind up on more than a few Top Ten lists when 2014 spins to its conclusion, It will be exciting to see what adventures Yaromisl and Zgard has in store for us all next…
(Review by Ken Morton)
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